San Juan Creates Community Land Bank
By Eva Lloréns Vélez on October 29, 2016
The city of San Juan has finally created the Community Land Bank (CLB), a corporation whose goal will be to deal with the high number of abandoned properties by buying and renewing them.
The announcement was made Saturday by San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and Popular Democratic Party Sen. Ramón Luis Nieves.
The San Juan CLB was created through an ordinance signed Oct. 13 as non-profit group to manage and battle the deterioration of urban spaces and the hike in the number of abandoned cases. The CLB’s board would be integrated by the mayor and six other individuals following the City Assembly’s confirmation. Each member will serve for six years. The ordinance also creates a community advisory council comprised by nine members, all of whom must be San Juan residents.
“The Community Land Bank is a development and community empowering tool that seeks to revitalize urban spaces. Our communities will not be displaced. What we want with this instrument is to strengthen our communities and transform them for the good of those who have been living for years in them,” Cruz Soto said.
Nieves recalled that the CLB was one of the ideas he and Sen. Jose Nadal Power proposed to revitalize Santurce. In the early 2000, the government expropriated over 400 families to make way for new developments. The emigration of the area has left numerous abandoned properties.
The ordinance will also make it possible for the Community Development Bank to obtain financing for projects. The entity will be capitalized through city, state and federal funds as well as grants and donations.
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