Fulfilling a dream of owning a home

Bank Vision Banco
Client International Organization Habitat for Humanity
Location Paraguay

In Paraguay, the housing deficit in 2010 was almost 1,000,000 houses, the financial market did not offer a solution to a significant group of citizens who, with minimum requirements were willing to undertake the dream of own home. Vision Banco has been the first entity that was encouraged to work on an inclusive product dedicated to the dream of own home. This initiative, in its beginnings was enhanced with the International Organization Habitat for Humanity, based in Paraguay. The lessons learned in the process have been very significant and have served for many financial institutions today to have similar products but not with the characteristics of the product designed by Vision Bank.

Incursing in a vulnerable segment of the population that did not have credit assistance to access decent housing or to improve the situation in precarious conditions was a challenge in terms of business intelligence, preparation, organization and internal training. With this product Vision Banco has broken the paradigm that only the state is responsible for serving the most vulnerable or scarce resources, especially in terms of housing. As with an alliance with civil organizations it was possible to carry out this product that today constitutes one of their main flags in the inclusion and accessibility, complemented with financial education. The alliance with key stakeholders, who understand the needs of the people and also the business, was fundamental to the success of this initiative, Habitat for Humanity has been fundamental in the beginning and consolidation of the process. From the point of view of the clients, it has really been a financial solution developed to the needs of people and above all adapted to solve a critical problem for a large part of the population that did not find answers in the public sector.

The Bank’s experience in adjusting its products to the needs of the people, with a logistical support system for the evaluation of applications, has been fundamental for the design and implementation. Likewise, Vision’s ability to partner with entities such as Habitat and the IDB to implement this product. It is also important to mention the work that the Bank was doing with the nongovernmental organization TECHO Paraguay in terms of supporting actions to reduce poverty with the construction of emergency housing with a strong component of corporate volunteering.

An important and important point was the creation of a specialized team for the promotion and sale of the product that was pertinently trained for the effect. The project started with Habitat with very few built homes. To date this product has already built more than 1,500 homes throughout the country and in addition to habitat for mankind, contracts have been signed with other construction companies to meet the high demand.

Challenges for the project in the future: consolidate the participation of the Bank in this area and reach more families, the availability of suppliers throughout the territory, which other financial institutions are encouraged. The need for decent housing will be a priority for a long time and the sector must be prepared to meet this unsatisfied demand, Visión Banco’s product “constructing dreams” has been recognized as one of the best projects in the Latin American green 2016 and in itself has a positive impact, due to the characteristics of the product, in terms of institutional, economic and social. If the Bank talks about resilience, especially in environmental terms, sustainability elements could later be included in construction projects such as efficient use of resources (water and energy) or use of environmentally friendly materials. After this experience, the state has encouraged much more access to housing by allocating funds for long-term financing through the Second Floor bank in our country, so, at the national level, thousands of families will be able to access a decent home.