CREW Boston

Discussion on Stabilization & Redevelopment of Hurricane-Devastated Puerto Rico

To kick off our 2018-2019 series of brown bag lunches, the CREW Boston Housing and Community Development Committee, led by members Kimberly Martin-Epstein and Yanel de Angel discussed recovery efforts related to the devastating hurricanes in Puerto Rico.  We were able to conference in Alex Blenkinsopp from Senator Elizabeth Warren’s office. He gave an overview of the PR situation and Senator Warren's efforts to provide aid, including a bill proposed to offer $146 billion dollars in aid to Puerto Rico. While not progressing legislatively, this bill changed the tenor of the conversation in Washington. This is the first time a US territory in economic crisis has concurrently been hit by a natural disaster. 
Legislation has been proposed to try to assist PR residents to maintain title to their land though their homes may have been destroyed and they don't necessarily have proper documentation for the title, as a lot of homes are "informal." This task is of particular interest to several of our members. A task force within the CREW Boston Housing & Community Development Committee will pursue further strategies, potentially working with Yanel de Angel and Resilient-SEE their efforts.

Other efforts and resources discussed include:
Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. 
Laurie Schoeman
Senior Program Director, Resilient Communities and Disaster Recovery
Mision Rescate in Mayaguez 
Marisol Rodriguez,
The Mayaguez Zoo is looking for groups to help rebuild the animal sanctuaries at the zoo.
HEART 9/11 (Healing Emergency Aid Response Team 9/11) is a team of first responders - FDNY, NYPD, PAPD and the NYC Building Trades - that bonded in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 to honor the sacrifices of brave colleagues and family members lost, to continue to utilize their experience and training in service to others and to bring a message of hope to communities affected by disaster. HEART 9/11’s mission is to Respond immediately to natural and man-made disasters; Rebuild community centers in hard-hit areas to meet grass roots needs; Recover by building resiliency for individuals, families and communities.
From Senator Warren’s office:
Housing Victims of Major Disasters Act of 2018, including links to the bill text and a brief fact sheet:

The Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Equitable Rebuild Act, including links to the text and a section-by-section summary:

Alex Blenkinsopp, Senator Elizabeth Warren,

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Confirmed Attending

  • Michelle Apigian
  • Michelle Apigian
  • Rebecca Bachand
  • Rachel Bandi
  • Sara Barcan
  • Sarah Boehs
  • Juliet Borja
  • Donna Brown
  • Carla Cabral
  • Wendy Cohen
  • Jennifer Crampton
  • Yanel de Angel
  • Cindy Fang
  • Marcia Hannon
  • Danielle Kinkel
  • Susan Knight
  • Trish Marinilli
  • Kimberly Martin-Epstein
  • Gretchen McGill
  • Kathy McGilvray
  • Berley McKenna
  • Kathleen O’Donnell
  • teresa patten
  • Tricia Pinto
  • Amanda Roe
  • Maria Roldan
  • Lauren Ruggles
  • Rebecca Schofield
  • Christine Vincenti
  • Zoe Weinrobe
  • Alice Wong