Colombia - Comfama's Lease-to-Own Program brings affordable housing to low-income segments

Comfama combines a rent-to-own scheme with a savings and rental scheme to build their client's credit history as they work their way to gradually owning their own homes.

 

07.15.2015
 
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Objectives

  • Alleviation of the qualitative and quantitative housing deficit for the low income segment in the department of Antioquia, Colombia
  • Increasing access to credit and a new social housing unit for the low income population
  • Contributing to improved quality of life for beneficiaries

Summary

Information asymmetries make it difficult for financial institutions to qualify low income clients for mortgage loans, given their lack of assets to pledge as guarantee and lack of a solid credit history in the formal financial system. Respectively low income families often cannot offer a down payment to access a social housing unit or save enough money to afford a home improvement.

Comfama’s “Arrendamiento Social” addresses the qualitative housing deficit by delivering its affiliates with access to finance and technical assistance for home improvements, as well as access to a wide range of product discounts through Comfama’s partnerships with material providers. Thus the low income population can get access to a new social housing unit with no initial down payment on the home, nor the need to secure an approved mortgage loan. Instead they are enabled to buy the home after successfully completing three years of timely monthly lease payments. For the realization of the project Comfama entered into an alliance with Bancolombia, the largest commercial bank in Colombia.

Results

Program participants are enabled to save for the down-payment to purchase the home as part of the monthly rent, create a credit history in the formal financial system in order to qualify for a mortgage loan and thus can improve their living conditions. By providing technical expertise and sizeable materials pricing discounts to beneficiaries it is ensured that investments are maximized.