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Habitat Costa Rica helps low-income families improve their homes through small loans

September 21, 2009




—Habitat for Humanity Costa Rica has designated US$150,000 to extend loans to families low income families who live in Orotina, Coyolar, San Mateo and Caldera. The loans are designed to help families who have already begun to resolve their housing problems to repair, improve or finish their homes.

The funds were donated by Arcelor Mittal, a multi-national company that was impressed by Habitat for Humanity’s efforts in incremental improvements (RAMT in Spanish: Remodeling, Additions, Improvements and Finishing). Habitat Costa Rica has three years of experience in providing accessible loans for these type of home improvements, ranging from US$500 to US$1,200.

According to the Sate of the Nation 2008, roughly 160,000 houses in Costa Rica are overcrowded and/or in poor condition. Jeimy Gamboa, Resource Development coordinator for Habitat Costa Rica, explains that many families do not have the resources to resolve their own housing issues and do not qualify for loans from conventional providers.

Habitat Costa Rica’s home improvement credits are given for a maximum of three years, and only to families whose income is between one and four minimum salaries.

For Gamboa, the importance of Habitat’s system is that once the family has advanced in the repayment of their credit, they can then apply for an additional credit to continue improving their home. “The idea is that this be a program that supports the progressive development of housing,” she explains.

An additional advantage offered by the program is a professional evaluation of the housing conditions and an assessment with the family about the necessary improvements, as well as an estimated budget of the costs.

Habitat Costa Rica hopes to extend at least 40 home improvement credits in the areas mentioned above.

Those interested in receiving credit, supporting the program, or for more information please contact Habitat for Humanity Costa Rica at +506 2430-1442 or 2431-2287.

For more information, contact Angie Ramírez por el 2290-8021 o el 8832-0551.

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity in Costa Rica, visit their online profile.