Tackling the Qualitative Housing Deficit in Costa Rica

Jan 2014
An estimated 42 percent of homes in Costa Rica are in need of repair, expansion, or some other improvement, and nearly a quarter ofthose deficient dwellings are so dilapidated as to represent an immediate danger to those who live in them. The poorer the family, the more serious the problem: an estimated 83 percent of deficient housing is occupied by families living at the base of the pyramid (BOP). Although there is demand for home improvement loans, nearly 40 percent of the BOP is completely excluded from the formal financial system because loan rates, amounts, and terms are not tailored to their needs and because banks doubt their repayment capacity.
Mutual Cartago de Ahorro y Préstamo (Mucap) is a Costa Rican non-profit financial institution founded in 1970 that promotes savings and national and foreign investment to solve the country¿s housing deficit. Mucap takes its services directly to clients through a network of 23 agencies nationwide and 13 credit stands in stores such as Walmart, Maxi Pali, and Maxi Bodega.