The lack of affordable housing is a massive challenge in Latin America, leaving many low-income families without homes.
But one Mexican company is now aiming to change that by helping people become homeowners.
CCTV America’s Franc Contreras has the story from central Mexico.
Mexican housing company helps low-income families build homesA Mexican company is aiming to help people in rural areas become homeowners. CCTV America's Franc Contreras has the story from central Mexico.
Maria del Carmen Gonzalez and her family have moved from an adobe shack to a new home next door. Now that she is a home owner, Gonzalez says life has improved dramatically for her family.
“The difference is big because before when it got real cold here we could really feel it,” she said. “Now the difference is that our roof is secure and when the wind blows hard, we are no longer in danger.”
Mexico’s government estimates that there are about 30 to 40 million people living in poor quality housing.
Unemployment rates in rural Mexico are high. So only people who have migrated to the United States have been able to build quality homes, and it has been almost impossible for Mexicans to have their own homes in rural Mexico.
Francesco Piazzesi is the founder of the company called Echale a Tu Casa, which is roughly translated as “put your heart into your home.” The company helps poor Mexicans finance and build their own homes.
“We create a social business, it has to be a business but the main goal of the business is not to provide money for the investors, it’s to provide solutions for the community,” said Piazzesi.
With the help from Echale a Tu Casa, low-income families purchase their homes for between $8,000 and $15,000. Families can lower costs further by actually working on the construction.
The company uses three sources for financing: 10 percent from family contributions, a federal subsidy costing up to 64,000 pesos, which is nearly $3,500, and a company credit provided to each family’s ability to pay. The monthly payments must not exceed 30 percent of the family’s total income and the loans have a 5-year limit.
Juan Hernandez Cortes is a farmer, and he earns less than $300 per month. This housing program allows him to build his home within four months. “It would have taken me a year and a half or more because we have so many expenses,” he said. “Right now, I help two of my children pay for college.”
Nearly 30,000 Mexican families have benefited from this housing program. The company plans to expand to other developing countries including Colombia and China.