Creative Financing Solutions to Help Families in the Colonias
Azteca Community Loan Fund (ACLF) is a nonprofit community loan fund whose mission is to build the financial capacity of extremely low-income colonia residents to improve their housing and economic conditions. ACLF is a grass roots organization created in 2000 by the Board of a renowned self-help housing development organization, Proyecto Azteca, in response to the need for flexible financing and credit standards to address the needs of colonia residents. While both organizations are separate and distinct entities, they have a closely knit and symbiotic relationship.
Together the organizations have developed the Cascaron House Kit, an innovative approach to meeting the housing and financing needs of colonia residents. This kit is designed for mass production at an extremely low price. It includes all of the basic features of decent housing, including a proper and quality foundation, framing, roofing, electricity, and plumbing. All Cascarones meet Hidalgo
|County inspection standards. The Cascaron takes form as a 24 feet by 36 feet, one-bath, basic wood house. A group of family builders works with building trainers from Proyecto Azteca and invests 160 hours of labor or “sweat equity” to build their homes on a central construction site. During this phase of construction, families are trained in self-help construction and home completion techniques to prepare for the second stage of sweat equity where the families ready their homes for habitation by installing floors, painting, and completing other cosmetic details. ACLF implements its mission by providing flexible loan products at zero percent to colonia residents in Hidalgo County in Texas.
HAC has provided loans, grants, and technical assistance to both organizations over the years and continues to be an active partner in the improvement of housing conditions in the colonias.