The danger that abandoned properties in the Historic Center of Mérida could represent, might be given a completely different functionality, such as green areas or modern architectural loft-type housing projects, but their degree of potential depends on the property’s conditions.
The director of the Historic Center Patrimony Management office, Raúl Zapata Álvarez, explained that inspections carried out reveal that in the so-called first perimieter (Primer Cuadro), there are more than 500 properties in deterioration and state of abandonment, that could be used for “contemporary housing projects”.
He explained that starting from the basis that for a young person living in the heart of the city could be expensive, new conditions can be created for the use of these estates, and look for other kind of “dynamics” that could allow to recover y use these forsaken places.
Zapata Alvarez stated that it is necessary to create financing strategies that could encourage owner’s to turn its property into a profitable asset, in accordance with the law, and for the benefit of all society.
He added that it would be ideal to have other financial tools -different to government programs- to access support, but “they have to come from another party to decide who is eligible to obtain the resource, because many owners do not want to assume their responsibility, and they just expect that the government takes care of the situation.
“For that reason, part of the work of the board is to encourage people to face the situation and take on the problems. The ideal would be for the initiatives to come from society, which is where the real solutions can arise,” he said.
Zapata Álvarez informed that the government program to fix facades and put signs along Centro’s Primer Cuadro, but it is up to the owner to provide maintenance.
“The streets and public road belong to everyone, but undoubtedly the maintenance and recovery of private property remains the responsibility of the owner,” he said.
Finally, the director of the Historic Center Patrimony Management office stated that there are several legal points to review to define the legal status of the properties and support strategies for those who are willing to rehabilitate them to give them a functional purpose.
The Yucatan Times Newsroom with information from SIPSE