Smiles of Happiness Abound as New Innovative Cooperative Approach to Affordable Homeownership benefits Puerto Rico

[Regional Administrator Denise Cleveland-Leggett and Puerto Rico Field Office Director Efrain Maldonado with housing cooperative organizations.]
Regional Administrator Denise Cleveland-Leggett and Puerto Rico Field Office Director Efrain Maldonado with housing cooperative organizations.

Unique cooperative homeownership option brings smiles of happiness thanks to HUD Multifamily Programs for Cooperative Housing and a new local legal framework for residents helping them transition from renting their units to becoming homeowners. During a recent trip to Puerto Rico Region IV Administrator Denise Cleveland-Leggett's met with local leaders from various housing cooperative organizations regarding the breakthroughs that they have achieved in converting their residents from renters to proud homeowners.

One housing cooperative, Jardines de Valencia, has successfully converted from joint-ownership, where there is one master deed for the entire property and all residents are renters, to awarding each individual resident the title to their unit. Cleveland-Leggett recognized the potential in this model as a innovative way to increase the access to homeownership for individuals with moderate incomes, a group that sometimes fall out of the income ranges of government assistance programs and are not eligible for traditional financing.

"Once these cooperative residents learn what the conversion process entails and make an informed decision to work as a community to achieve title ownership, they become owners of their homes and communities. This affords them stability in their personal lives, their jobs, their children's education; it's the embodiment of HUD's mission."

This is a serious undertaking for these housing coops, since there must be various HOA assemblies to ensure compliance with the Housing Cooperative Law 239 of 2004, a comprehensive education process for all residents, and a substantial reserve fund to cover legal and administrative costs. Yet the determination and commitment of these cooperative leaders in helping each other achieve their conversion is admirable, and the residents who obtain the title to their apartments feel immense pride and stability. The cooperative developments La Hacienda, Rolling Hills, La Ceiba, El Alcazar, Torres de Carolina, Villas de Navarra, San Ignacio, and San Francisco are also in process of converting to individual title ownership, after having paid off their HUD-insured mortgage, creating approximately 2,100 new homeowners for Puerto Rico.


Content Archived: January 28, 2020