ECLOF Colombia partners with KAYROS to offer comprehensive housing services to its clients

26 September 2012 | Maria Angelica proudly shows us her new house

For Maria Angelica, the recent transformation of her house is a dream come true. This 32 year-old teacher and her two children are really proud of their new, comfortable home. And what a difference this is from their former house built out of found materials!

Maria Angelica owes her new house to an innovative and successful partnership between two organizations. Indeed, ECLOF Colombia established an agreement with KAYROS Corporation in order to help families in need to improve their housing conditions.

This partnership combines financial services, provided by ECLOF Colombia, with productive technical guidance that is offered to each family individually. In a nutshell, three areas of work are intertwined in each program to make it a full success: the financial, the technical, and the social.

ECLOF Colombia addresses financial matters and is responsible for granting the credit necessary to carry out the housing programs. Once the client has given a formal authorization, ECLOF Colombia disburses the money directly to KAYROS to launch the construction work. An essential feature of this arrangement is that the interest rate for a loan within this special program is much lower than for other types of credit.

KAYROS oversees the technical aspects of the program. In particular, it supervises the architects and the engineers who carry out the construction work. In addition to this responsibility, KAYROS offers an initial assessment of the client’s current housing conditions, considering such factors as basic sanitation, structural stability, and the need for extensions or other changes to the existing building. On the basis of its findings, KAYROS then proposes improvements that it thoroughly budgets to fall within the client’s means. KAYROS is also in charge of practical matters such as the scheduling of work, the hiring of labor to do the job, and the purchase of construction materials.

Finally, there is an essential social dimension to this program.  Indeed, in addition to providing credit and technical services that target individual clients and their families, this KAYROS-ECLOF Colombia initiative offers specific support for the greater good of the community. One of the more community-empowering initiatives that KAYROS spearheads is a program for women, who generally are the heads of their households and leaders in their communities. These women are trained by ECLOF Colombia to manage financial services and by KAYROS to oversee technical diagnostics. They are the ones who then assess the housing needs of a particular community and convey them to ECLOF Colombia to set in motion the process of credit analysis and loan granting. In this manner, citizens themselves become active participants in the renewal of their communities.

This model of support greatly favors the economic growth, welfare, safety, and health of the families that benefit from it. Having a safe home also contributes to the well-being of children and promotes harmony among family members.  This partnership offers great, life-changing results and vividly illustrates the ways in which ECLOF Colombia offers more than just loans.