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Housing and Property Rights
Inadequate housing is one of the most visible consequences of poverty and negatively affects the health and vitality of communities. WCCN, in collaboration with the Nicaraguan housing organization Habitar, is committed to improving the quality of life of Nicaragua’s poor and therefore created a rotating fund called PROMEVI. Through PROMEVI small loans are provided to families living in some of Managua’s poorest neighborhoods so that they can improve their housing conditions.
WCCN believes housing is a human right. WCCN’s housing rights initiatives aim to help overcome the overwhelming need for adequate housing in Nicaragua. Not only is there a housing deficit in Nicaragua, but the housing conditions of those who do own property are often deplorable. In fact, in Nicaragua only 22% of houses are considered to be in "good condition".
Much of Nicaragua’s housing problem is also historically rooted in disputes over rightful property ownership. Land titles are one of the most contentious issues in Nicaragua, a country where centuries old royal land titles, titles issued under the dictatorship, and non-registered, and therefore non-legally binding, titles issued under the revolutionary government are often at odds. WCCN believes that by working with housing experts both in Nicaragua and worldwide, a knowledge base can be built that will provide non-governmental and governmental bodies alike with the foundation needed to make proactive solutions in addressing the housing crisis.
In fact, WCCN’s work in housing began in 2002 when it was invited by the Center on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) to work on a collaborative project to write a report on the current situation of housing and property rights in Nicaragua.
Following the COHRE study, WCCN was asked to collaborate with the United Nations Human Settlement Program (UN-HABITAT) on a research project entitled "Law and Land Review Project-Latin America", to provide an overview of legislation and policies regarding land, housing, inheritance and marital property issues in four Latin American countries (Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Nicaragua).