Basic Units in Managua

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This project built 40 small houses with prefabricated components developed in Colombia during the seventies and locally provided by COLMENA. These 18 m2 units have 2 rooms. On-site assembly was implemented by brigades of 5 members integrated by one person of the beneficiary family. Habitar and Colmena provided technical assistance. The houses have 2 rooms. 70% of the units were provided to women headed households. Families collaborated with labor to level the sites and build the concrete slabs. They also stored building materials in safe places. HABITAR negotiated with government that the project should be considered a Social Housing project in order to access tax reduction. Most important problems of this project have to do with exchange rate and increase of costs of building materials. Other donors provided complementary funds and families made important efforts to save. This incipient saving process is considered by HABITAR as a very important outcome of the project which goes beyond the objective of housing improvement. A savings mechanism was therefore established to make the project sustainable. (See footnote) Contact: Ninette Morales Ortega