Making housing more affordable in Mexico

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sarah Gardner: In many parts of the world, if families outgrow their homes they simply add on to them. They grow ’em, piece by piece, room by room, brick by brick, when they get some extra cash. But, turns out, that’s not very efficient. It wastes money, supplies, and lots of time.

Alex Goldmark reports from Mexico, on a new way to build affordable housing — and I mean really affordable.

Alex Goldmark: The walls in Antonio Castaneda’s living room are a crisp, clean cerulean, plastered and painted with nice wood mouldings around the door, too. But walk one room over and extension cords dangle off cinderblock. He’ll fix it up, he says, eventually.

Antonio Castaneda: I’m building this place little by little. Because when there’s some extra money, then I get to it. Little by little it goes slowly.

Casteneda’s house and the way he’s building it are pretty typical here in the town of Tehuacan, in Central Mexico. The men generally work on farms or in factories. Or both, like Castenada has. They’re practical people and for the most part, they build their own houses, brick by brick. And it can take some time.

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