One of the new homes designed by Mi Hogar Tradicional. One of the new homes designed by Mi Hogar Tradicional.

‘Traditional home’ for 120,000 pesos

Construction experts design five house models for earthquake victims

Almost every day there is news of another housing option for those citizens of Oaxaca who lost their houses in the September earthquakes, and today is no different.

Only this particular option is more traditional than some of the others that have surfaced.

Many (former) homeowners have been left with little option but to build something very small with the 120,000 pesos (about US $6,400) in disaster relief funds granted by the government.

Where decades-old 20×20-meter homes once stood, relatively tiny 5×5-meter buildings have begun to spring up in the municipality of San Francisco Ixhuatán.

“The alternatives offered in Ixhuatán come from firms based in Comitán, Chiapas, or Mexico City. New homes are being built, but they’re smaller than [social housing],” said Federico Delgado, whose parents lost their home.

But it was while looking for construction alternatives online that Delgado found a project called Mi Hogar Tradicional (My Traditional Home).

Created by Juchitán engineer Felipe Valdivieso, Mi Hogar Tradicional is a collective of construction industry experts who live and work in the region, giving them knowledge about local customs.

And they are less interested in making a profit than in rescuing the values of traditional houses of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region.

To that end, five models have been created with costs that range from 120,000 to 450,000 pesos (US $6,400 to 24,100). The size of the dwellings varies accordingly: the most accessible one-bedroom model is equipped with a kitchenette, living and dining rooms, a bathroom and a porch, all within 40 square meters.

The largest is 80 square meters and includes a master bedroom with ensuite and two more bedrooms with a shared bathroom.

All models comply with construction and safety regulations and make use of locally-sourced construction materials.

Twenty local families have signed on to have the collective build their new homes. One family is Delgado’s parents who will be able to move in to their new, traditionally built house in three months’ time.

The collective is now looking to make arrangements with financial institutions, allowing them to offer mortgages of three to 20 years.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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