Appointment of the designated Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Housing

The construction industry receives with great enthusiasm the appointment of Luis Carlos Fernández Trinchet as the designated Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Housing.

“The designated secretary is an expert, with vast and solid experience in the housing area in Puerto Rico”, stated he PRBA Chairman, Alfredo Martínez Alvarez, Jr., at the same time that expressed that ” his availability to fill this position adds trust to the much needed Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG-DR). The complex challenges that the construction and housing industry are facing need to be addressed by a team knowledgeable of the industry and the people of Puerto Rico. Fernández Trinchet contributes to this climate of stability”.

Meeting Amongst Professionals

The Chairman of the Puerto Rico Builders Association, Alfredo Martínez-Álvarez, Jr., met with the Governor’s Construction Advisory Board, along with the PRBA Chairman there was the Chairman of the Puerto Rico’s Chapter of the Associated General Contractors, Arch. Umberto Donato, and government Chief of Staff, Antonio Pabón.


Celebrating the APC 2020 Inauguration Ceremony

In support to members of our industry, we attended the 2020 inauguration ceremony of the Puerto Rican Association of Concrete.

In the image: Alfredo Martínez-Álvarez, Jr., chairman of the Puerto Rico Builders Association; Elvin Figueroa Carrión, recently elected chairman of the APC; and el Eng. José Luis Flores, chairman of the Institute of Civil Engineers of the Puerto Rico Professional College of Engineers and Land Surveyors

Cornell Master’s Students Visit the PRBA

With the sole purpose of understanding how the agencies responsible for Puerto Rico’s infrastructure have taken a particular approach to achieve a resilience objective, a group of graduate students from the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs – CIPA visited the Puerto Rico Builder’s Association to discuss this topic.

Left to right: Jorge Guerrero, Alfredo Martínez-Álvarez, Vanessa de Mari, John H. Foote from Cornell University College of Human Ecology, and Patricio Martínez Lorenzo.


NAHB Elects Leadership for 2020

Members of NAHB elected four senior officers to top leadership positions within the federation during the association’s International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

With more than 700 affiliated state and local home builders associations and more than 140,000 members across the country, NAHB represents the interests of the nation’s housing professionals through advocacy, education and research.

Dean Mon

2020 NAHB Chairman Dean Mon

Taking the helm as NAHB’s Chairman of the Board this year is Dean Mon, a New Jersey-based builder and developer with more than 30 years of experience in the home building industry. The first Hispanic to be elected chairman of NAHB, Mon is president of the D.R. Mon Group, Inc., which specializes in the development and construction of green urban living projects throughout New Jersey. Since 1985, the company has created communities in Morris, Hunterdon, Union, Hudson and Monmouth Counties.

“Addressing ongoing housing affordability concerns will be the top issue for America’s home builders in 2020,” said Mon. “In this key election year, we will work with the White House and Congress to advance comprehensive housing finance reform and reduce burdensome regulations to enable more families to achieve homeownership or have access to suitable rental housing. We will also urge Congress to adopt practical workforce development and immigration policy that will help our industry fill open jobs and reduce the cost of remodeling and home construction.”

Chuck Fowke

2020 First Vice Chairman Chuck Fowke

Also moving up on the association’s leadership ladder during NAHB’s Las Vegas meeting was John “Chuck” Fowke, a Tampa, Fla.-based custom home builder with 40 years of experience in the home building industry. He was elected as First Vice Chairman of the Board. Fowke is founder and president of Homes by John C. Fowke, Inc. His company has built hundreds of luxury homes throughout the Tampa Bay area.




Jerry Konter

2020 Second Vice Chairman Jerry Konter

Jerry Konter, a Savannah, Ga.-based home builder and developer with more than 40 years of experience in the home building industry, was elected as Second Vice Chairman of the Board. His company, Konter Quality Homes, is one of the largest home building firms in Savannah and has established 17 communities and built more than 2,000 homes and 600 apartments throughout the local metro area.




Alicia Huey

2020 Third Vice Chairman Alicia Huey

Alicia Huey joined the NAHB leadership ladder with her election as Third Vice Chairman of the Board. A Birmingham, Ala.-based custom home builder with more than 30 years of experience in the home building industry, Huey founded AGH Homes, Inc. in 2000. In addition to building high-end custom homes for buyers on individual lots, AGH Homes has also built in Hoover, Ala., and in several golf course communities in Vestavia, Ala.




2020 Immediate Past Chairman Greg Ugalde

2019 NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde, from Torrington, Conn., remains on the leadership ladder as Immediate Past Chairman. Ugalde is president and chief legal officer of T&M Building Co., Inc., one of the state’s largest home builders. Since its founding in 1962, T&M has built more than 4,000 new homes in over 45 Connecticut communities for trade-up and first-time buyers. He is also the founder and owner of GFU Investments, LLC, a builder/developer minority-owned business that focuses on urban development and workforce housing.



CEO Jerry Howard

Rounding out the association’s leadership is NAHB Chief Executive Officer Jerry Howard, from Washington, D.C. Howard heads up a professional staff of more than 240 working out of the National Housing Center in Washington. He has served as the association’s CEO/EVP since February 2001. Previously, Howard was NAHB’s chief tax counsel.


La Asociación de Constructores de Puerto Rico favorece la designación del nuevo Secretario de la Vivienda

La Asociación de Constructores de Puerto Rico (ACPR) reaccionó al nombramiento del Secretario de la Vivienda, hecho por la Gobernadora Wanda Vázquez Garced.

La industria de la construcción recibe con mucho entusiasmo el nombramiento de Luis Carlos Fernández Trinchet como el designado Secretario del Departamento de la Vivienda.

“El designado secretario Fernández Trinchet es un conocedor de muchos años, con una vasta y sólida experiencia en el área de la vivienda en Puerto Rico”, expresó el presidente de la ACPR, Alfredo Martínez-Álvarez, Jr., quien añadió que “su disponibilidad para ocupar este puesto abona al clima de confianza necesario para el Programa de Subvención en Bloque para el Desarrollo Comunitario (CDBG-DR). Los retos complejos que enfrenta la industria de la construcción y vivienda necesitan ser atendidos por un equipo de trabajo que conozca la industria y la población. Fernández Trinchet aporta a este clima de estabilidad”.

Foto: GFR Media


Road of Stones

The heart breaking images of children of all ages, elders and entire families sleeping outdoors after losing their homes, or surrendering to the fear of the continuous seismic activity, should keep us awake at night.  The disturbing notion of a collapsed school makes our heart stop. Most of us are in disbelief of the situation that has shattered, in the most literal way, the beginning of 2020.  With thousands becoming instantly homeless and unemployed, a sudden and overwhelming sadness invades our hearts, and the only way to cope is through acts of kindness and solidarity but we also need action to move forward.

While government struggles with the nightmare, the private sector, and community volunteers have flocked to the south, with supplies, care and even entertainment, to lessen the pain.  Once again, we show the world our resilience and our strength, because helping the less fortunate has become the rule, not the exception.

Nonetheless, amid the continuous seismic activity, we must pause to reflect on how we can minimize tragedies of a natural phenomenon we cannot predict or control. Considering the lives that have been lost, the social impact and  the loss to infrastructure already surpasses the $150 million, Un doubtedly, inspecting infrastructure to determine the outcome as to its stability, and implementing the Puerto Rico construction code is vital at this point.

In 2018, the House of Representatives Economic Development and Planning Commission evaluated the resolution 756 to revise the Puerto Rico Construction Code, after the devastation of hurricane María. With the support of FEMA, the Puerto Rico Office of Permit Management, public agencies and members of the Puerto Rico College of Engineers and Surveyors, the College of Architects and Landscape Architects, the General Association of Contractors and the PR Builders Association, the new code was developed. The Government of Puerto Rico received $110 million from FEMA’s Risk Mitigation Grant Program to improve the implementation of the codes.  This HMGP grant allowed the Puerto Rico Planning Board and the Office of Permit Management to increase its staff from 11 code compliance officers to more than 200.

Among its many proposals the new Code recommended the design of new infrastructure and the mitigation of existing one, to make construction more resistant to hurricanes and earthquakes.

Nonetheless, when approved, no one imagined it would be as relevant as it is today.

The 2018 approved building code represented the first significant revision since 2011, and it included dispositions of more resistance to risks for a safer construction in all 78 municipalities.  Nonetheless, compliance is key, all structures today should have been constructed according to the corresponding approved code.  Were they?

What did the present code establish regarding earthquakes?

During the public hearings that led to the new Construction Code, the Office of Permits Management (OGP, for its acronym in Spanish) said Puerto Rico already had more restrictive design parameters than other jurisdictions, since the 2011 code had incorporated amendments based on a study of Puerto Rico’s seismic history. Risk was assessed per municipality. Yet we must take into consideration that the last great earthquake the Island lived was in 1918, more than a century ago.  This requires a change in the responsibilities of designers, contractors,  government and owners upon our new reality.

Among the recommendations under the Hazard Mitigation Assessment Team Report, made by FEMA, was the creation of maps of micro wind zones (in case of hurricanes) to consider the topography of Puerto Rico, which changes through the Island.  Furthermore, one of the great concerns discussed during those hearings were the conditions of constructions, hence the suggestion of rigorous building maintenance protocol and the regularity of the revision of the construction code.

The seismic activity lived during the past week, brings us to a new cross roads of questioning if we have been rigorous enough in implementing construction codes, if we have provided adequate maintenance to public and private buildings, If compliance with our building codes is accessible to our residents or cumbersome and if we should revise the recent code to this new reality.

Living in an Island of a yearly hectic hurricane season and now, in an area of active seismic activity requires a new mindset.

Its time of solidarity, but also we must roll up our sleeves, get to work, prove our resiliency and our true human nature, literally a road of stones is still ahead.

Author: Waleska Rivera, CEO of Danosa Caribbean Inc. and ACPR's Board Treasurer

Fondos son importante motor

El anuncio que el Departamento de Vivienda federal hará disponible $8,221 millones de fondos del Programa de Subvención en Bloque para el Desarrollo Comunitario para la Recuperación ante Desastres de Puerto Rico (CDBG-DR, en inglés), asignados para la reconstrucción de Puerto Rico, es una buena noticia para el país.

Así lo afirmó hoy el presidente de la Asociación de Constructores de Puerto Rico (ACPR), Alfredo Martínez-Álvarez, Jr., quien reconoció que esos dineros son necesarios para avanzar en el proceso de recuperación de la isla, que fue devastada tras el paso del huracán María en septiembre de 2017.

“Hay miles de familias que han aguardado más de dos años por el desembolso de esos dineros para arreglar sus residencias, ya sea rehabilitándolas o construyendo viviendas nuevas, más fuertes y resilientes. Estos fondos, precisamente, van destinados a asegurar viviendas dignas y asequibles para esos miles de puertorriqueños”, precisó el presidente de la ACPR.

La disponibilidad de estos dineros, añadió Martínez-Álvarez, Jr., también representa una oportunidad para darle un nuevo impulso al desarrollo económico del país, toda vez que le ofrece estabilidad al sector de la construcción y vigoriza la economía con un alto impacto en la generación de empleos.

Los $8,221 millones de fondos CDBG-DR que recibirá Puerto Rico forman parte de la asignación de cerca de $20,000 millones del programa de desarrollo comunitario para atender desastres que fueron asignados a la isla como consecuencia de la devastación sufrida por el paso del huracán María.

Esta asignación había sido retenida y ayer el Departamento de Vivienda Federal anunció el desembolso de esta partida junto al anuncio de la designación de Robert Couch, quien fungirá como monitor federal, a cargo de supervisar su uso.

Para el presidente de la ACPR, el nombramiento de un monitor federal no debería ser un obstáculo para que los fondos asignados se desembolsen en su totalidad e inicien los trabajos de reconstrucción.

“Es importante que se le continúe dando al Departamento de la Vivienda las herramientas y recursos para que pueda seguir desarrollando su plan de reconstrucción. El Departamento de la Vivienda es el ente gubernamental capaz para llevar a cabo este proceso y atender las peticiones del gobierno federal y las necesidades de nuestra población, en el sector de la vivienda”, indicó Martínez-Álvarez, Jr.

La Asociación de Constructores pide al pueblo que evalúe los planes de contingencia tras el temblor

Tras los movimientos telúricos que han ocurrido en los pasados días, la Asociación de Constructores de Puerto Rico (ACPR) se muestra solidaria con todas las familias que han sido afectadas y exhortó a la ciudadanía a evaluar sus planes de contingencia, según la situación y el entorno donde viven.

Alfredo Martínez -Álvarez, Jr., presidente de la ACPR, señaló que, si bien conlleva una acción responsiva inmediata para atender estas familias, no es menos cierto que todos, tenemos que estar preparados en caso de que estos eventos sigan repitiéndose. “En la medida en que nos enfrentamos a riesgos naturales, el gobierno central y los municipios deben priorizar en cómo atender los problemas estructurales de muchas viviendas que están ubicadas en zonas susceptibles y que, en muchos casos, han sido construidas sin la evaluación de ingenieros estructurales o civiles. En este momento nada puede ser más importante que la seguridad y protección de nuestros ciudadanos”, aseguró Martínez-Álvarez, Jr.

“Es necesario, además, que se oriente a la ciudadanía sobre la importancia de cumplir con los códigos de construcción vigentes, que resultan ser una herramienta para la protección de la vida y propiedad en nuestro país. Como organización, estamos en la disposición de continuar colaborando con el gobierno, así como con entidades sin fines de lucro para que nuestra ciudadanía esté mejor informada y pueda tener acceso a vivienda y construcciones seguras”, concluyó el presidente de la ACPR.

Nota publicada en El Nuevo Día

Joint effort with Atlys Global Managing Partner

Atlys Global Finance has developed a program that is helping contractors all over the island of Puerto Rico stabilize their cash flow by providing them with easy access to operating capital.

In a joint effort with the Puerto Rico Builders Association, Atlys Global Managing Partner Mr. Rance McFarland, recently offered a workshop on financing opportunities for contractors or subcontractors currently working on, or who anticipate working for, a Government Agency or a municipality that is sponsored by the US Government, such as FEMA, Corps of Engineers or CDBG-DR funded project. The meeting, which took place at Popular Center, was attended by more than 60 members from diverse sectors of the construction industry.

The Federal Contractor Financing Program (FCFP) has been helping contractors perform more efficiently on existing projects as well as helping them to secure new contracts here in Puerto Rico for over a year.

Among the themes included in the workshop were:

  • Who is Atlys Global
  • Explanation of the Financial Program
  • How to get into the program
  • Outline of timing and funding process.

If you are interested in learning more about this program, please do not hesitate to contact Atlys at