Affordable housing for low income families in Nicaragua is in very short supply. Sustainable natural construction materials are rarely used, leading to environmental damage caused by those homes that are constructed. SosteNica is developing a model for sustainable affordable housing, using natural materials and incorporating eco-technologies such as composting toilet, rainwater caption, plant based grey water treatment, fuel efficient cook stoves, and edible landscaping.
Nicaragua has a housing crisis. Between 15,000 and 25,000 new homes are needed each year to address the national housing shortage, while fewer than 7,000 are built annually. With a high percentage of the population living below poverty, mortgages are little more than a pipe dream. Furthermore, those houses built for low-income families are hardly livable -- concrete boxes with metal roofs in tight rows with no landscaping or food production.
SosteNica is designing it's modest affordable home, using natural and environmentally appropriate building materials. The new house demonstrates that low-income homes can be both affordable and livable. By using natural building materials (earth) and eco-technologies such as composting toilets, fuel efficient stoves, plant based gray water treatment, rain water caption and edible landscape, the house will be both attractive and comfortable.
In 2016, with donor support, SosteNica will build the prototype home in the Nicaraguan community of Piedras Quemadas community. This model will serve as a training and empowerment center for families currently living in homes made of sheet metal and black plastic. Families that qualify will have access to credit as well as government subsidies. This innovative design resolves environmental problems as well as meeting the needs of the residents for self-sufficiency.
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