Our Strategy is Evolving, but Our Mission Isn’t

Donors like you helped us bring safe housing to more than 15,000 people in our first eight years.

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Donors like you helped us bring safe housing to more than 15,000 people in our first eight years. Because of your generosity, thousands of people who used to experience homelessness now own life-changing homes. Families are staying healthy, increasing their income, and building their new stories.

We’re proud of the impact we’ve made together, but we’re not settling. We’re scaling.

If we housed 10,000 people a day, it would take 160,000 days or 438 years to house the 1.6 billion people without safe shelter. To make the crisis worse, the United Nations predicts more than 3 billion people will need safe shelter by 2030. Homelessness is outpacing the world’s solutions.

The problem of limited solutions

Traditional nonprofits offer impactful but limited solutions to the growing problem of homelessness. Let’s look at our first eight years as an example.

In our first eight years, our model was simple. We used a direct intervention approach. Here’s how it worked.

  1. You donated to New Story.
  2. We deployed your donation to a local partner.
  3. We worked with local partners to build a safe home for a family without one.

This direct intervention approach helps some families, but it’s not a sustainable or scalable strategy. It’s a limited solution and it’s only one solution. But the housing deficit demands diverse solutions that serve the masses. If you’re one of the 1.6 billion people without safe shelter, the odds of you receiving a donated house are the same odds as you winning the Mega Millions — twice. Here’s the real problem: building one home at a time addresses the symptoms of homelessness, not the causes.

Families want more than homes

We believe vulnerable families shouldn’t have to depend on luck to have a safe place to live. From our experience of partnering with families, we’ve learned they’d rather have autonomy than charity. They want to be participants in their exit from homelessness. They want ownership of their homes and the process. But first, they need opportunities to afford solutions that meet their needs. They need access to a fair market.

The families’ desires and the scale of the problem is why we’ve evolved our impact strategy away from a direct intervention approach. Our mission of ending global homelessness is the same, but our strategy has changed.

We’re now working with the market to make housing more accessible for low-income families in Latin America.

Watch the video below to see what our evolved strategy looks like in action.

We’re moving beyond charity

Rather than gifting homes to families, we’re empowering them to become participants in a market where they can afford the housing they want and need. This leads to an inclusive housing market that works for vulnerable communities.

Our first eight years was necessary to get us to this moment. We established an international team, built a network across Latin America, developed a respected brand, and learned what families actually want. We’re primed to move beyond a traditional charity model.

The market doesn’t work for vulnerable families like it works for you

Currently, the housing market works for people like you and me. When we want to own a home, we’re able to shop around and secure the financing it takes to own one. But the market doesn’t work for low-income families in the same way. They experience more obstacles on their path to homeownership. Let’s look at Raul in Mexico as an example.

Raul lives in an agriculture town two hours from Mexico City. He’s worked on the same avocado farm for eight years. He’s not salaried, but he gets paid in cash a couple of times a month. The small income is steady enough to provide for his wife and two young boys. The family lives in a one-bedroom house Raul made 10 years ago, but the roof is leaking more often these days and the house is too small for the growing family — especially since Raul’s mom is preparing to move in with them.

Raul dreams of repairing the home and adding two extra rooms, but he can’t secure an affordable loan. The bank doesn’t recognize his informal income and considers him too high risk. The best they can offer him is a 90% interest rate loan that doesn’t help him achieve his housing needs. Because of high rates and his informal income, Raul is one of 43 million unbanked people in Mexico (44% of the adult population).

Unbanked often means inadequately housed.

Lack of affordable financing is just one of many barriers standing between vulnerable families and adequate housing. That’s why we’re bringing many solutions to the problem of homelessness.

“Many people are trying to solve the housing crisis, but not many are trying to outsmart it." — Craig Russell, Walt Disney Executive and New Story Builder

The three ways we’re building a more inclusive housing market in Latin America

Our evolved strategy focuses on making the housing market work for low-income families. We do this through three core interventions.

  1. Innovation. We use innovation to reduce the cost of housing for low-income families. For example, a housing prototype design that unlocks access to 35% more families in Eztatlan, Mexico. The initiative supports families who can only pay about 100 USD/monthly installments for a loan.
  1. Investing. We put capital and expertise behind proven housing models so organizations already doing good work can support more families. For example, a bridge loan to build a home for a family with a pre-approved loan from ACREIMEX in Etzatlan, Mexico.
  1. Connecting. We bridge the gap between market players so we can co-create housing products that are affordable for families and profitable for organizations. For example, facilitating an event in Ciudad Guzman (JALISCO) with developers, banks, universities, local companies, notary associations, and others to co-develop housing solutions with market players.

A goal so big we can’t do it without you

In order to prove to the market there’s untapped potential and profit within 1.6 billion people, we need early investors willing to take a bet on teams doing things differently. That’s why you’re here.

Your radical generosity helped us 3D print the world’s first community of homes, finance housing with the blockchain, and become one of the most innovative companies in the world. Leveraging your support for industry-changing innovation is in our DNA. But innovation doesn’t always have to look like robotics and crypto.

Right now, we believe one of the most innovative things we can do is to collaborate with the market to create sustainable and scalable impact.

Our big goal is to impact 1 million people in Latin America by 2030. A goal so ambitious that we can’t afford to rely on building one home at a time. We have to unlock the housing market for vulnerable families. And to build that housing market, we’ll need innovation, partnerships, and investments from people like you.

Are you ready to build?