Photo: More Low Income Housing Coming to Nicaragua
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced the approval of $20 million in financing to support a housing and neighborhood improvement program focused on low-income families in Nicaragua.
The Nicaraguan government, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration and the Dutch International Guarantees for Housing Foundation, backed by a council that twins cities in The Netherlands and Nicaragua, will provide additional funding. A key component of the program will promote the improvement and progressive construction of housing, providing subsidies to families earning up to $370 a month.
Among the specific results expected from the program: improving 4,250 existing homes, the progressive construction of 4,000 new units, improving the basic infrastructure of 4,000 families in neighborhoods lacking basic services and delivering land titles to 5,000 families.
In Nicaragua, as in other developing countries, most houses are built gradually, as families find resources, a process that can take decades. Nevertheless, housing programs have traditionally prioritized the construction of new units, which are often beyond the reach of poorer families.
A component of the program will provide subsidies to eligible families either to improve the conditions of their existing homes or to start building new units. In this last case, depending on their income levels, families will have to make in-kind contributions, accumulate savings or secure housing loans from financial intermediaries.
Another component of the program will work with community organizations in neighborhoods lacking basic services, financing the provision of potable water, sewage systems, storm drains, public lighting, electricity or road infrastructure. The program will cover up to 70% of the cost of improving neighborhoods. The rest will come from municipal governments (20%) and resident families (10%).