Nicaragua faces a severe housing shortage, one that has left families without options for safe and dignified housing. Homes of Hope is our initiative with the Institute of John XXIII to address the challenges faced by the country’s large working poor population, those with incomes below what is needed to support the family.
In 2013 the Institute built 50 homes! The project was financed directly by donors to the Quest for Peace, with additional funds provided by the Institute’s housing rollover fund and through a new partnership with CAFOD. In 2013 we built homes in Chaguitillo, a community in the Matagalpa department, to the north of Managua.
Homes of Hope begins with an organized and involved community. Initial meetings resulted in over 90 beneficiary applications and a local Housing Committee. The Committee members reviewed applications and selected the families for the 2013 construction season. Those selected for the program are required to participate and contribute in a number of ways: they help with construction, they provide a small down payment on the home, and they commit to monthly payments into the building fund for future participants. This all helps to ensure the process is smooth, and fosters a sense of ownership from the beginning. Local buy-in is key to the success of the program!
Construction began in April of 2013, and the Institute’s team was able to complete the 50 homes by December. Throughout the construction period, beneficiaries received training on home maintenance, family hygiene practices, and safe water techniques. All of these help ensure a smooth transition from previous living arrangements to the new home. The homes are either the 385 square foot model or the 420 foot model. Both have two bedrooms, a kitchen, a shared bathroom, and a living room, with a wash sink on a rear patio. The sizes of lots vary, depending on what is available, but are typically large enough for some storage and a garden. The parcel used in Chaguitillo was open land, covered with a mix of sandy soil and grass.
After the construction is complete, the celebration of new homes can begin! The Institute of John XXIII partnered with the new housing committee to hold a ceremony for transferring ownership to the beneficiary families on January 17, 2014. In less than a year the Institute transformed this section of Chaguitillo.
Now we have a suitable roof, a home for our family, it is a dream that we’ve all had and that we have made into reality with our work… we hope that more families are benefited in the future, and that they keep helping people of scarce resources. -Douglas Jose Gonzalez
When I found out about the project I applied and I now have my own home. The project gives a lot of hope to those of us who have low salaries and can’t work with big banks. -Meyling Ruiz
In 2014 we plan to begin the second round of construction for additional families that qualify for the program. Join our fundraising campaign for the Homes of Hope with the gift to the Quixote Center today!