The community needs continue to evolve and that is why the Municipality of Caguas' 1995 Consolidated Plan constitutes a strategic vision for housing and community development. The following is a summary of that plan:
The Consolidated Plan includes an Action Plan for the use of the 1996 funds under three (3) different HUD formula grants, for a total of $6,118,000, including $5,136,000 under the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG); $198,000 under the Emergency Shelter Grant Program, and $784,000 under the HOME Program. The Action Plan also includes the proposed use of program income generated by CDBG activities from previous years, totalling $335,569.
The elements of the Plan were developed with active citizen participation,
including individual consultation with some twenty (20) different agencies and
nonprofit organizations; and two (2) public hearings, the first of which took
place in December 1, 1994, to gather input on needs from citizens, nonprofits
and other organizations. The Consolidated Plan was published for public review
in El Vocero, a general circulation newspaper on April 13, 1995. A Citizen's
Summary in Spanish was made available to interested persons, by the municipal
The Municipality of Caguas is located at the Central-East Region of the island, about twenty- five(25) miles south of the city of San Juan. Because of its location, closeness to San Juan, and good transportation network, Caguas has grown into an industrial, commercial, services and manufacturing center.
During the last thirty (30) years Caguas doubled its population to 133,447 inhabitants in 1990; which is projected to increase at a 10.05% rate by the year 2000.
According to the 1990 Census data, 52 % of the Caguas population fell below
proverty level. Of the 40,104 total households in the Municipality 82.5% had
annual incomes under $25,000 (58.1% under $12,500); which is below the HUD
-adjusted Median Family Income for Caguas of $26,900.
Caguas is ranked fifth in the order of fast growing metropolitan areasamong the mayor cities of PR. This growth is being challenged by a 15.1 % unemployment rate for 1994 and a slow developing infrastructure. Over 30 percent of employment is in the service area. In housing, of a total of 2,867 housing units, only 52 percent were suitable for rehabilitation.
In the Municipality of Caguas, there is a high proportion of our low, very low and moderate income households that have not satisfied their housing needs because they either live in overcrowding conditions, in substandards units or have a very heavy cost burden.
Cost burden above 30% of income affects 9,670 (5,407 owners and 4,263 renters) very low, low and moderate income households.
There are 292 active AIDS cases reported in the jurisdiction. There is an urgent need to expedite housing application in different housing assistance programs.
Among the most needy groups that have been identified are elderly renters and owners in the very low income groups..
The Municipalality of Caguas estimates that a total of 2,309 families are in need of housing of which 701 are already in the waiting list.
A steady climb in population presents a low to moderate-income housing demand that varies from a modest 11.9 percent to as high as 16.3 percent for units in the range of $44,264-$59,799. The market for new housing is responding to the medium and high income families which have moved from the San Juan Metropolitan area.
The demand for affordable housing is defined by the percentage of units, 41.7% or 2,704 units, which fall within the price range of $44,264 or less and well within the definition of affordable housing. This housing demand contrasts with the approximately 20,000 very low, low and moderate income households in Caguas (37 percent renters and 63% homeowners) that have housing problems ranging from overcrowded conditions, substandard units to very heavy cost burdens.
The estimated of homeless persons in Caguas is between 664 to 1,242.
The main factors that contribute to homelessness are the inability of the government to satisfy low income population housing needs; drug and alcohol abuse, and mental illness; abuse and neglect of children and adolescents; domestic violence; adolescent pregnancy and; a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Low income and unemployment are common factors to almost all subgroups.
There is a high mobility of homeless persons towards the Municipality of Caguas, since the municipality is a center for main governmental health and social services in the region.
The most urgent needs for this group is the development of an information system, strengthening of coordination of services and emergency shelter for women and family fleeing from domestic violence, dropouts and runaway children and adolescents and, for unsheltered adults (mainly males), job training and placement housing and transitional supporting services, and permanent housing for the rehabilitated homeless. We need to satisfy immediate needs of the homeless population and maximize the development of the homeless potential for independent life.
Among the most needy groups are the elderly households, first time home buyers, small families who tend to double-up with relatives, and AIDS-affected persons, of which there are some 292 active cases recorded.
The actual housing regulations do influence the final costs of affordable housing. For example, as the requirements now stand, these divide into four groups the units with a price ranging from $42,000 to $52,175. These are basic units with 788 square feet of living space, segregated into 250 square meters lots. In Caguas, the housing demand in the sixty plus range can be as high as 58 percent. Thus, this puts a damper on affordable housing development projects, unless attractive incentive packages can be offered to investors and developers. Although, the demand for housing is mostly concentrated within the affordable housing price range, 81 percent of new construction is fixed on a housing market with prices which exceed the $76,000 tab. Other barriers that affect supply of affordable housing are:
One of the main barriers that affect demand for affordable housing is the negative credit history of most of the low and very low income householders that apply for assistance, which disqualifies them for assuming a mortgage loan.
The City proposes to comply with the Municipality's Fair Housing Ordinance and Affirmative Marketing procedures and analyze impediments or obstacles to fair housing.
The Plan includes actions to detect and reduce lead-based paint hazards and prevent childhood lead poisoning. It is estimated that around 23,900 or 74% of caguas housing stock contains lead-based paint.
There is an increase on drug dependency, school desertion, teenagers' suicides, and high crime incidence in the Municipality, with the consequent increase in the need for assisted housing, safety, health, and economic aid programs.
There is a need for a wide variety of neighborhood facilities such as day care centers for children and the elderlies, and human services aimed at improving the quality of life of low/moderate income residents; recreational facilities, infrastructure redevelopment, economic development, and Central Business District revitalization.
The Municipality of Caguas established communication and informal coordination with public agencies, (municipal and central government), other municipalities, private agencies (nonprofit and for profit) for the development of the consolidated Plan. These entities were consulted mainly in relation to services being provided, socio-economic and demographic data and gaps in the provision of services. The main agencies that were consulted were the Department of Health, the Puerto Rico Planning Board, the Department of Social Services, Administration of Mental Health and Addiction Services; Homeless Coalition, MJ Consulting, private agency that administers public housing units in Caguas. Coordination work with other agencies and citizens organizations took place mainly by telephone, written and personal communication, and participation in public hearing.
This communication efforts led to the provision of services to the homeless
through two nonprofit institutions, Hogar Los Peregrinos and Casa San Gerardo,
Inc; participation of the Municipality of Caguas in the study of the homeless
population that will be conducted by the Homeless Coalition; proposed
development of a CHDO by Fundación Socio Educativa de Caguas,
enhancement of the state health services to adolescents and other public service
activities to be performed by the Department of Citizen Affairs.
Promote the quality of life, particularly for very low income and low income persons, by assisting the communities in the development of suitable living environments, by providing safe and livable neighborhoods, revitalizing deteriorated areas, preserving properties of special historic architectural or aesthetic value, and strengthening partnerships among all levels of government and the private sector to provide decent housing.
Discussed in housing priorities and non-housing communities development priorities.
Among the goals proposed are the following: increase the housing supply for low/moderate income first-time homebuyers; attract the rental homeowners to the HOME Program; rehabilitate owner-occupied housing units; and assist families in obtaining homeownership titles.
Housing goals related to homeless persons will address: technical assistance to a certified CHDO in the development of rental housing for the elderlies and homeless; economic and technical assistance to other nonprofits for their certification as CHDO's; and assistance to homeless providers for housing, essential services, and training programs.
1. Economic Development and Infrastructure
Water and street improvements and parking facilities are proposed, which are basic for economic development. Also proposed is the offer of technical skills/training for the unemployed under the JTPA Program; financial assistance for technical and vocational schools; and the development of microenterprises in low-income communities.
2. Revitalization of the Central Business District
The CBD revitalization is proposed through the development of community-based relationships among the private/public institutions at the CBD - civic, religious, educational - to promote economic development and marketing, minimize deterioration, carry out the restoration and rehabilitation of historical structures, and promote cultural activities. In addition, the City is scheduling a 24-hour police force in the area to prevent crime.
Among the priorities of the Municipality of Caguas is to develop goals and programs to reduce the number of households with income below the poverty level. For this reason the administration intends to continue supporting existing programs which are suitable in affordable housing such as: grants and loans for rehabilitation of housing, development of land for segregation of lots and the financing for the construction of housing for very low and low income families as well as the distribution of title deeds. Also it is pursuing assistance for homeless, prevention of suicide in adolescent, counseling and therapy for families in crisis, shelter for unwed adolescent mothers and for patient with HIV/AIDS.
The resources available to the Municipality of Caguas for addressing housing and community development needs come from federal, state and local sources. Housing needs are mainly satisfied through the Section 8 Program; CDBG funds (which provide for minimal rehabilitation, community revitalization, land acquisition and infrastructure); HOME funds (for the development of CHDO, assistance to first time homebuyers, homeowners rehabilitation of units in the Central Business District (CBD)). State funds provide for the administration and maintenance of public housing in Caguas.
Homeless needs are addressed through Emergency Shelter Grant (E.S.G.) funds and CDBG funds; Community development needs are addressed by means of CDBG funds, Job Training Partnership Act, Health and Human Services; local funds and state funds, (such as government loan, Public Law #2 and other funds obtained through Resolution (RC)) and other local funds from investments and miscellaneous revenues.
The Municipality of Caguas is responsible for the Consolidated Plan Activities, but various private and public entities are involved in the administration and implementation of plan components.
The Municipal Department of Housing is mainly responsible for Housing Programs: HOME and Minimal Rehabilitation (CDBG). This Department partners with private entities in the implementation of HOME program.
Community Development Programs area mainly the responsibility of several municipal departments, Housing, Sports and Recreation, Culture, Citizens, Affairs, Police and Economic Development.
The Homeless Coalition (nonprofit entity) will receive CDBG funds for a study of the homeless population.
The State Department of Health will expand its services to adolescents with CDBG funds.
Hogar Los Peregrinos and Casa San Gerardo Inc. (nonprofit entities) will provide services to the homeless in Caguas with ESG funds.
The Municipal government has noted gaps in the coordination process and has
included as Consolidated Plan Strategies the coordination with public agencies
for development of infrastructure, the coordination with other agencies for
developing mechanisms to increase stability for low and moderate income
families; and the establishment of formal coordination mechanisms among
institutions that serve the homeless population to strengthen the continuum of
care strategy. Monitoring standards and procedures have been developed to
improve performance and proper management of federal funds according to 24 CFR
570, Circular OMB-A-110, OMB A-128, 24 CFR 85.42, OMB A-187, OMB-122.
The Action Plan lays out the proposed uses of the $6.4 m from the 1995 allocations for the three (3) formula grants CDBG, ESG, and HOME - and from "program income" generated from previously funded CDBG activities. Some 46 activities are listed in the Plan.
Almost 44 percent of the key projects included in our listing of proposed projects is planned to assist housing. Most of these funds address the need to gap the housing demand for affordable housing, especially for fist-time homebuyers. Three very low-income areas located around the Central Business District were allocated funds for housing rehabilitation and preservation.
Throughout the preparation of the Consolidated Plan the works were divided in different phases with the lead agencies as follows: the Planning and Community Development Office was in charge of citizen participation, planning and urban project design; the Municipal Department of Public Works led the project development phase; the Municipal Housing Agency was in charge of the area of housing; and the Department of Economic Development coordinated the area of employment and economic development.
Funds have been allocated from the HOME program to provide grants for moderate rehabilitation. This will be a direct homeowner-ship assistance. Emergency shelter funds are also being directed for facility repairs to add structural soundness and safety to two homeless shelters. CDBG funds will go into acquisition of vacant property for land development into segregated lots in order to increase housing choices for low to moderate income house totals. First time homebuyers will have the opportunity to qualify as such by providing loan and grants to 50 low and very low income households.
|Project ID||Project Title|
|1||Park, Recreational Facilities - Vistas del Turabo|
|2||Park & Recreational Facilities - La Granja|
|3||Park & Recreational Facilities - Villa del Rey (IV Sec.)|
|4||Park and Recreational Facilities - Villa Blanca|
|5||Park & Recreational Facilities - Borinquen Pradera|
|6||Park & Recreational Facilities - Villas de Castro|
|7||Removal of Architectural Barriers|
|8||Non-Residential Historic Preservation - Ruíz Belvis St.|
|9||Sidewalks - Villa Esperanza|
|11||Street Improvement - Georgetti St. with Padial St.|
|12||Street Improvement - Campio Alonso st with Muñoz Grillo St.|
|13||Acquisition of Real Property - Bunker & Brooklyn community|
|14||Acquisition of Georgetti St.|
|15||Acquisition of Real Property - Padial St.|
|16||Acquisition of Real Property - Campio Alonso St.|
|18||Loan Guarantee for Economic Development|
|20||Park & Recreational Facilities - Pta. Community|
|21||Brooklyn Community Revitalization|
|22||Batista Community Revitalization|
|23||Santo Domningo Community Revitalization|
|24||Machin Community Revitalization|
|26||Street Improvement - Borinquen ward|
|27||Street Improvement - Cañabon ward|
|28||Street Improvement - Bairoa ward|
|29||Street Improvement - Beatriz ward|
|30||Street Improvement - Cañaboncito ward|
|31||Street Improvement - San Antonio ward|
|32||Street Improvement - San Salvador ward|
|33||Street Improvement - Turabo ward|
|34||Street Improvement - Tomas de Castro (I & II) ward|
|35||Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO)|
|36||Rehabilitation of Single Families Residential - mínima|
|37||First - Time Homebuyer - Grant for Extremely Low Income House|
|38||First - Time Homebuyer - Grant|
|41||Essential Services for the Homeless - Casa San Gerardo & Hogar Los Peregrinos|
|42||Operational Expenses - Casa San Gerardo & Hogar Los Peregrinos|
|43||Rehabilitation of Shelter Facilities|
|44||Administration of ESG Program|
|45||Planning & Capacity Building|
|46||Street Improvement - Santo Domingo Communities|
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.
MAP 3 depicts unemployment levels.
TABLE (without associated map) provides information about the project(s).
Eng. Ricardo Echevarria
Office of Planning and Community Development