Housing Dept. breaks ground on $25.6M elderly housing complex in Humacao
The Puerto Rico Housing Department announced the start of the construction of Hogar Manuel Mediavilla Negrón III, a $25.6 million project of new and accessible housing for the elderly in the northeastern town of Humacao.
The project’s financing includes $8.6 million in federal funds from the CDBG-DR Gap Program for Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Housing Secretary William Rodríguez said.
“CDBG-DR funds provide development opportunities for diverse sectors and communities and today we show how they’re already being directed to serve our elderly population,” he said.
“As more projects are developed that meet the housing needs for low- or moderate-income families, we’ll be available to assist in providing funds,” said Rodríguez after participating in the groundbreaking ceremony.
The project design consists of 90 one-bedroom units in a six-story building, including an administration office, a communal activity area, indoor and outdoor gardens, a gym, a small cafeteria, a doctor’s office, a terrace, laundry area and bike storage facilities.
The project is designed according to the most current energy conservation and resilience measures, and includes insulated walls, photovoltaic system, low water consumption accessories, Energy Star accessories, ceiling fans, household appliances, occupancy sensors in communal areas, solar water heaters and additional accessibility requirements, the Housing Department said.
Hogar Manuel Mediavilla Negrón II will also comprise broadband infrastructure — as required by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development — to bridge the digital divide in mixed-income communities.
In addition, each unit will provide in its design for the installation of a high-efficiency wall-mounted air conditioner, and will feature storm-proof windows, eco-friendly building materials and methods, as well as accessible design and cross ventilation. The landscape design will include local plants that require minimal watering and maintenance.
“The start of the construction of the Manuel Mediavilla Negrón II complex in Humacao means that elderly people are going to have a home,” said Blanca Fernández, executive director of the Housing Finance Authority, which runs the Low Income Housing Tax Credits Program.
The project is located a short distance from places of interest for the elderly, who will be able to walk to carry out daily tasks such as medical visits, pharmacy, mail, supermarket, public transport and recreational areas.
“For our municipal administration it is of utmost importance to meet the housing needs of citizens, especially the elderly population,” Humacao Mayor Reinaldo Vargas said.