Despite having a strong economy, more than half of those living in Mexico do not have the economic means to build or buy a home. Of the country’s 120 million, 30 million are underemployed and more than 10 million live without adequate housing. Escaping poverty, therefore, becomes exceedingly difficult—even more so for the single mothers that we work with at Casa de Luz (CDL). This is due, at least in part, to the government’s inability to orient its spending towards the poorest sectors of the population. Such a process will continue unless it is met with considerable opposition, including suitable and affordable housing.
The grassroots Own Your Own Home (OYOH) program does just that—providing parents with a doorway out of poverty through affordable home ownership. What a dream come true! Through this program, families can purchase a safe and sturdy home at a discounted rate, financed over a 5-year period through Casa de Luz.
The families in the OYOH program have the opportunity of renting the home from CDL for 1/3 of the family’s monthly income. After five years of successful financial stewardship, the families will be given the opportunity to purchase the home. The rent that is paid by the families is applied to the purchase of the next property so that the program can continue for the next family.
The Own Your Own Home Program provides parents incentive to get their families out of poverty as they partner with CDL and work towards owning their own home. Over the 5-year period that the families are involved in the program, families are also provided with life skills training and mentoring to ensure success. This includes, among other things, budgeting, managing and caring for a home, and personal finances.
The OYOH program gives the leaders of CDL the privilege of partnering, equipping and mentoring families while they are in the program and gives the recipients of the program pride of ownership, hope, and a sense of accomplishment.