Supporting sustainable housing policy in Guatemala

Project description

Title: Triangular cooperation between Germany, Mexico and Guatemala to strengthen Guatemala’s sustainable building and housing policy
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Germany, Mexico, Guatemala
Lead executing agency: In Mexico: Agencia Mexicana de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AMEXCID)/Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation(AMEXCID)
In Guatemala: Secretaría de Planificación y Programación de la Presidencia (SEGEPLAN)/Presidential Secretariat for Planning and Programming (SEGEPLAN) 
Overall term: 2017 to 2018

Context

There is a shortage of approximately 1.6 million homes in Guatemala. Around 80 per cent of existing homes need to be refurbished and demand for new homes is around 20 per cent. A new housing act came into effect in Guatemala in 2012, which allows for a greater number of financing options. 

The housing needs of the poor are particularly great. In order to afford urgently needed homes, they receive financial aid from the state in the form of allowances. These allowances are allocated from the housing fund and do not have to be paid back. People without bank accounts only rarely get loans from non-governmental organisations, microfinance institutions or cooperatives. If they do, they are mostly with very high interest. The Institute of Insured mortgages (Instituto de Fomento de Hipotecas Aseguradas, FHA) gives loans to people from the middle class who are in permanent employment and have access to social security benefits.

The neighbouring country of Mexico has legislation which governs the award of loans to working people who are registered for legal and tax purposes. The success of this law in Mexico means it is suitable for the authorities in Guatemala to modify and adopt. The project simplifies the exchange of experience and best practice between the two countries, above all in relation to programmes that promote sustainable energy and water conservation in housing.

Objective

The capability of the Guatemalan institutions to develop a sustainable building and housing policy has been strengthened. 

Approach

The leading Guatemalan housing authority was interested in discovering how the Mexican Government developed and implemented the legal framework. It also had a particular interest in Mexico’s funding programmes and development of capacities to strengthen sustainable building and housing policy. For this purpose, a round table was set up for the actors to discuss the current situation and needs. The project and the round table provide an appropriate space for the Mexican institutions to present their experience and examples of best practice.

The round table prepared a study with recommendations for government housing policy. The focus was on funding social housing in urban and rural areas, taking into account environmental sustainability. On that basis, the leading housing authority took a number of decisions that strengthen the government’s housing policy. It is also developing a funding programme to consolidate a sustainable government housing policy. 

In addition, the project has implemented training sessions to set up an IT platform modelled on Mexico’s national information and housing indicators system (SNIIV). The platform provides information and indicators on housing.

The project has also set up a regional forum for sustainable housing in Latin America and the Caribbean (Red de Ministros y Autoridades Máximas en materia de Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano de América Latina y El Caribe, MINURVI). Here representatives from the triangular cooperation with Guatemala and Colombia can present their results in the field of sustainable housing. 

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