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Latino Daily News

Sunday May 20, 2012

Nicaragua Set to Launch Rent-to-Own Housing Program

Nicaragua Set to Launch Rent-to-Own Housing Program

Photo: Nicaragua

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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a $10 million loan to Banco de Finanzas S.A. (BDF), a leading commercial bank in Nicaragua, to finance a pilot housing project that will pave the way for low-income families working in the informal sector to get access to mortgage financing.

The program is expected to extend mortgage loans to an estimated 500 low-income Nicaraguan families.

The project, the first of its kind financed by the IDB in the region, seeks to address one of the biggest obstacles facing millions of low-income Latin American families that today struggle to improve their housing conditions: lack of access to financing because they can’t document their income. Clients in the program will rent the selected property for a 24-month period in which a portion of the monthly rental fee will be kept in a savings account that will later constitute the down payment on the home.

The completion of timely monthly rental payments during the 24-month period will create a solid client credit information and payment track record, allowing BDF to better access risks and make a decision on the mortgage loan.

The housing sector in Nicaragua, as well as in the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean, is dominated by informality. Informal housing units are self-constructed and progressively built, most without proper land titles or access to public utilities. It is estimated that 20,000 homes are built annually in Nicaragua, with only 3,000 produced and financed through the formal market.

Read more about Nicaragua’s rent-to-own housing program here