Lower and middle class homes in Costa Rica tend to be single storey, single family homes, despite several families living in the same dwelling.
Lower and middle class homes in Costa Rica tend to be single storey, single family homes, despite several families living in the same dwelling, like this Alajuelita home. | Photo: Choosingdirtroads.blogspot.com

COSTA RICA NEWS – In a report in La Nacion by Alberto Barrantes, we learn that lower and middle class Costa Ricans do not like two storey homes, more precisely two storey duplexes, a tow household dwelling with separate entrances.

For the past two years, the Banco Hipotecario para la Vivienda (Bahnvi) – Costa Rica’s Housing Mortgage Bank – has been making available a “bonos” (bonds) program that allows poor and middle class families opt for a grant to build a separate dwelling on the second floor or buy a house with a second floor apartment.

Juan de Dios Rojas, general manager of the Banhvi, said legal limitations for the bonds limits the loan to this type of housing.

The conditions of the bond are that the second floor addition is feasible and legal, that there is a separate stairway and entrance to the second floor apartment and that the families living in the two household dwelling share a degree of consanguinity.

Rojas explained that the legal restrictions may be the cause of low interest in the bonos and that there is a proposal to amend the law so that families are more likely to opt for this type of subsidy.

The proposal includes changing the title registration, creating a co-ownership of the property, a right equivalent to 50% for each household and would indicate whether the right is for the first or second floor.

Another alternative for middle class families is a law signed in July 2013 that amends the Central Bank law, eliminating the requirement of banks, at their discretion, to retain 15% of the funds on home loans.

Source: La Nacion, Bahnvi