On June 7, the Nosara Integral Development Association (ADIN) and community members participated in a meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Housing and Human Settlements (MIVAH) and the Municipality of Nicoya, during which it was agreed to start the process of selection and purchase of land for the construction of 20 to 40 low-income housing units for families whose homes were drastically affected by the earthquake on September 5, 2012.
During the meeting, the development association provided the representatives of the Ministry of Housing with a list of about 20 selected families with a socioeconomic profile that would qualify for immediate intervention. Marcos Avila, president of ADIN, said that despite having this list of selected families, MIVAH has the responsibility of doing a social study for them to qualify for a home. However, he said that the demand for housing solutions in the area is higher, so they hope that the project can be extended in stages.
“Right now we have the willingness of the Ministry of Housing to start with this project. MIVAH is in the process of searching for land for construction, so the commitment exists,” Avila said. With regard to the selection of families, Avila explained that priority is given to those requiring immediate relocation due to the devastation of the earthquake and the uninhabitable condition in which they live, and later to those with higher levels of poverty in the Nosara area.
For her part, the vice mayor of the Municipality of Nicoya, Adriana Rodriguez, said that the municipality is working in coordination with ADIN and MIVAH to facilitate the land selection processes and start construction of the housing project immediately. “Every entity is working towards firming up this project. As soon as land options exist, we with again meet with all the corresponding representatives to make a decision,” assured Rodriguez.
The construction company EVICEM S.A. was contacted by MIVAH as a possible choice to be in charge of developing the project once the land is selected. Mario Fonseca, representative of the company, commented that Nosara is peculiar in that the lands that could qualify to be acquired by MIVAH for starting the project are not in habitable conditions because they are near areas that tend to flood.
“In a conversation I had with representatives of MIVAH, they talked about the possibility of building up to 40 homes because of the great need for intervention in the area, so we hope to be the company responsible for developing the project,” commented Fonseca.
The Director of the Ministry of Housing and Human Settlements, Erick Mata, affirmed that once land is purchased for the housing project, the families selected by ADIN will go through a thorough process of social case study to conclude whether they qualify or not for the family housing bonus provided by the public entity.
Family Housing Bonus
The family housing bonus is a donation by the State, in solidarity, given to low-income families, the disabled, female heads of households and senior citizens that can be combined with their credit capacity to solve their housing problems. The amount of the housing bonus is in proportion to the family income.
The conditions to qualify for a bonus include the following:
1. Being part of a nuclear household, ie a group of people subject to the authority of a male or female family head living under the same roof and sharing household duties. There should be at least one adult.
2. Not own a house or more than one property. In the event that the family owns a lot, the bonus can be used to build housing or if they have a house that requires additions, repairs or improvements, they can request the bonus for this purpose.
3. Not have previously received another bonus, as it is granted only once.
4. Have a family income equal to or less than 1,313,010 colones ($2626), ie six minimum wages of an unskilled construction worker, which is adjusted semiannually.
5. Be Costa Rican or have a legal residence status. 6. Perform the procedures in any of the entities authorized by BANHVI.
The maximum amount of the housing bonus at this time is 5,950,000 colones ($11,900). However the bonus amount received by each family depends directly on the family income, so that the higher the income, the lower the amount of subsidy and vice versa.