July 12, 2005


With money sent from US, Peruvians buy homes: MiViviendo is one of several new programs in Latin America to tap $46 billion in remittances. (Lucien O. Chauvin, 7/13/05, The Christian Science Monitor)

Cecilia Hernández has been smiling for a week, jingling the keys to the new apartment she recently received as part of a government-supported housing program here in Lima, the capital of Peru.

"I am probably the happiest person in Peru these days," she says.

The one thing that Ms. Hernández regrets about her new home is that her husband, Dario Juárez, is not around to enjoy it with her and their two children. Hernández and Mr. Juárez have not lived together for eight years, but this separation is exactly what has allowed them to buy the apartment.

Juárez has been in the United States since 1997, sending home money each month to maintain his family. Through an innovative plan inaugurated in December 2004, the Juárez-Hernández family used those remittances as a down payment on the apartment and got a 20-year guaranteed mortgage.

The program, known as Quinto Suyo, is part of a wider effort called MiViviendo (My Home), designed to encourage home ownership by tapping into the estimated $1.7 billion in remittances sent home annually by nearly 2 million Peruvians living abroad. And it's just one of several plans throughout Latin America aimed at leveraging the nearly $46 billion that migrants sent to the region last year.

"This program gives families an opportunity to take full advantage of remittances," says Carlos Bruce, Peru's minister of housing, construction, and sanitation. "Remittances are generally used for rent, and rent is an expense that generates no return. This program offers a return, which is home ownership."

Even Tom Tancredo can't hate the ones who go home eventually.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 12, 2005 8:03 PM

Nothing like an ownership society taking root to make you feel that all might eventually be right with the world.

Posted by: H.D. Miller at July 12, 2005 8:22 PM

Funny - the folks I hang with would give up their homes if it meant living there without their spouses.

But who am I to judge - hail diversity!

Posted by: obc at July 12, 2005 8:36 PM

Sure he could - they're here now, aren't they?

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 12, 2005 9:04 PM

Since Tancredo already has made exploritory trips to New Hampshire and Iowa, it's safe to assume he doesn't want any of these workers going home to build their houses any time before 2008. Don't want to water down the campaign issue.

Posted by: John at July 13, 2005 6:10 AM

Not to be outdone our own lending institutions are now offering loans to illegal aliens so they can buy the house next door. Why the hell not? We already give them schools in their native language, health care, and all the goodies that go along with being a victim of hateful White America.

Posted by: NC3 at July 13, 2005 7:34 AM

N: Mortgages are not a favor that the mortgagee does for the mortgagor.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 13, 2005 8:24 AM

Tom Tancredo has as much chance as I do of becoming President.

Which is to say, none whatsoever.

If he does actually run, it would be strictly out of vanity.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 14, 2005 3:33 AM

No, hate.

Posted by: oj at July 14, 2005 7:11 AM