This program provides education and free legal support to promote the empowerment and legal self-defense of people - specifically women- unable to pay their mortgages in Puerto Rico. "Derecho a tu casa" (Right to your house) has been working for four years to provide free legal education workshops, know your right toolkits, legal help hotlines, and advocacy toolkits to empower those affected by the foreclosure crisis.
Puerto Rico is going through an unprecedented foreclosure crisis.There are more than 367,000 mortgage loans, of which 49,671 are behind in their payments by 30 days or more. Amidst austerity, unemployment, and poverty, around 24% of families are at risk of foreclosure. Debtors do not know their rights and lack legal representation, placing elders and domestic violence survivors at special risk. There is a need for legal empowerment projects focused on the right to housing for these populations.
We will empower 120 families by providing them educational materials, direct legal support through free workshops, hotline, and chats. We will strengthen advocacy capacity among participants, train and empower 50 elders and survivors through legal education of their rights as consumers, adopt legal selfdefense and advocacy strategies to ask banks to adopt practices which protect debtors' rights. Participants will be encouraged to replicate the workshops in their communities.
We will develop an information hub and spearhead legal empowerment for domestic violence survivors and elders. At the end of 2020, we envision that 120 families will know their rights and be better prepared to prevent foreclosures. 50 elders and survivors at risk of foreclosure will become advocates and be able to ask banks to respect and protect their rights by adopting practices that safeguard the human rights of those who cannot afford their mortgages.