In The Community

How the Rich Are Robbing Puerto Ricans of Their Homes and Communities

Puerto Rico has long been a tropical paradise for Americans seeking a tax haven. However, this has come at a cost to local Puerto Rican communities. The Act 22 tax incentive, enacted in 2012, has been the most effective tool to attract rich outsiders to the island, while local Puerto Ricans are losing their homes and neighborhoods.

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Puerto Rican Woman and Children

The emancipation of slaves is usually commemorated as a holiday in many countries, and Puerto Rico is no exception. With the Spanish National Assembly declaring on March 22nd, 1873, that slavery was to be abolished on the island, many rejoiced at the concept of this newfound freedom. Unfortunately, as with most emancipations, the freedom wasn’t cut and dry.

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cars in neighborhood destroyed by hurricane in Puerto Rico

Four years after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, the Biden administration lifted restrictions that prevented the island from accessing Trump-era approved funds. As of 2018 and 2019, the U.S. Department of Urban and Housing Development approved funds to allow Puerto Rico to rebuild after the devastation Hurricane Maria brought to the island. Due to restrictions placed on accessing the funds due to concerns of corruption and mismanagement, the Caribbean island had largely been unable to act on plans for reconstruction.

Now, that’s all changed.

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