What were the circumstances for the community and families this project impacted?
These families were some of the lowest income, highest-need families we have ever served. At the outset of the project, we partnered with local government officials to survey more than 500 families in the area, to identify those with the greatest need. The 10 families in this community have an average median income of $76.50 per month, which is well below the lowest threshold we typically require of families we serve in Mexico. Families in this community work in a variety of occupations, and work often changes based on what is available in each season. Additionally, most of the homes the families previously lived in were prone to flooding because of their proximity to the nearby river, which overflows during the rainy season.
How did you select the families?
Families were selected using a three-part process:
1. We worked closely with nonprofit partners to identify an area with the greatest need.
2. Once an area was identified, we worked with partners to survey each family individually to understand their specific circumstances.
3. After surveying, we selected the families who have the greatest physical and financial need for a home.
When do families move-in?
The families moved in November 2021.
Did the families receive the homes for free?
Families received the homes at a zero interest, zero profit mortgage. The total mortgage amount is around 400 pesos a month, a manageable amount even for very low-income families, and lasts for seven years. The rest of the cost of the home is considered a subsidy from New Story. The mortgage funds don’t return to New Story or ECHALE, but rather are pooled into a community investment fund where families over time vote on how the funds are used.
By investing into their homes, families are more likely to stay in the homes long-term, take better care of the community, and provide more meaningful feedback through the planning process.
Did this project take jobs from locals?
Build out on the homes still required for land clearing, foundations, doors, windows, and roofs. We hired locals for all of the build out and didn’t decrease the numbers of individuals hired as compared to traditional construction.
What type of maintenance will the houses require? What is the estimated cost of maintenance and is this covered by the families or New Story?
Homes will require the same maintenance as traditional CMY block homes. New Story monitors home and community aging through our Impact Data Program. Families are surveyed before home intervention and again at various milestones following move-in. This allows us to identify any community issues that need to be addressed by New Story. Traditional wear and tear on homes is covered by the families.