At New Story, we empower low-income families to buy the housing they need. A first principled way we do this is by making land ownership more accessible for vulnerable communities. Land ownership provides families with the credit profile and collateralization they need to participate in the housing market and buy the housing they want.
Land ownership gives families:
- A generational asset that can serve as a guarantee to obtain a mortgage or a loan to build their home
- Land tenure that guarantees long-term security from eviction
- An increase in net worth and an asset that can unlock housing finance
Accessing land is a fundamental step for families to secure home ownership, build generational wealth, and establish economic stability. Yet, millions of people in Mexico lack access to affordable land. Without affordable options, many families live in informal lots that lack public services, have a high risk of eviction, and can’t access an affordable loan because they don’t have legal land title representation. They find themselves stuck in a cycle of poverty without quality housing and an inability to access affordable loans.
A case study in Etzatlán, Mexico
In 2023, our land development program served 941 families in Etzatlán, Mexico. Families’ informal status and lower incomes prevented them from buying land and having the collateral to secure a housing loan.
We partnered with Mexican land developer, Carlos Ochoa, to make land ownership affordable for vulnerable families in Etzatlán.
Why not just give land and housing to families?
Because there simply isn’t enough supply. Subsidized land and housing would fail to meet even 1% of the demand in Mexico. Instead of giving away land, we work with the market to make land more affordable for low-income families.
How It Works
- Families sign up to join the waitlist in a program to access land and services with the municipality.
- Families make small monthly payments towards their land with services (water, electricity, and sewage).
- When families complete the payments, they receive a property title that serves as collateral to access a housing loan.
- Families who access a loan can choose from multiple home designs or start building on their property.
- When construction is complete, families move in and start making mortgage payments towards their homes and establish a commercial relationship with the financial institution.
When vulnerable families become property owners, they gain entry to the housing market, where they have the ability to buy the housing they want — at a price they can afford.
You can read the full report on the Etzatlán land development project here.