MONTE CARMELO – October 2015 Important Update
I have been working with Monte Carmelo in Vieques for many years. The same goes for Villa Borinquen and Bravos de Boston. While all three areas overall share similar backgrounds, circumstances and issues, Monte Carmelo has always demonstrated to be a breed of its own. Monte Carmelo has always been seen as the “black sheep” of the family.
Apparently, all that is about to change very rapidly.
The Puerto Rico Housing Department (“PRHD”) is in charge of Monte Carmelo. Historically, PRHD was also responsible for Villa Borinquen and Bravos de Boston, until the Municipality of Vieques acquired all the rights over those two areas. Monte Carmelo remained with the PRHD.
The Municipality of Vieques has always been more effective in moving the title process forward, with many titles having been recognized in both Villa Borinquen and Bravos de Boston. Since 2008 my law firm has been involved in many transactions for both these areas, many of them already completed at the Puerto Rico Property Registry. In the event you are wondering, by “completed” I mean: “the title formally reviewed, accepted and recorded as final by the Puerto Rico Property Registry.”
That has not been the case for Monte Carmelo, mostly because PRHD could not get its act together.
Nevertheless, for the past few months the PRHD has been actively pursuing the required information to complete closings which would result in completed titles. While bureaucracy always plays a part when working with most government agencies, PRHD is becoming increasingly effective at managing their resources and may be on the verge of granting the first series of titles in Monte Carmelo.
The first titles to come through would be those for permanent residents of Vieques. These has been the category of transactions that PRHD has been (reportedly) focusing on. Nevertheless, just a couple of months ago, we were able to finally create the correct environment for other categories of properties and applicants to be considered and accordingly began some motion forward. The category which is now moving to the front of the line, are those properties which are currently being used for residential purposes regardless if the person is a permanent resident or not.
I believe PRHD is moving in the correct direction. While I wish they would do so at a much faster pace, it appears that we are headed into a very busy Christmas Season.
Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions on the above.
Very truly yours,
Santiago F. Lampón