You can’t expect a real estate agent to pay for your home if you’re living in poverty.
But that’s the case in Belize, where an agent at the Belize Housing Authority has set up a program that allows people to borrow money to pay a down payment on a home.
“It’s a great way for people to get money to buy a house,” said Monica Murguia, director of public relations for the Belized Housing Authority.
She said that about 20 people in her agency’s community have used the program, which allows borrowers to borrow $500 or more for a downpayment on a house.
Murga said the savings are more than enough to purchase a home for the person who wants one.
“We’re really just helping people get on the right track with their finances,” Murgoia said.
“This is a way to get people out of the house and get the help they need for housing and for getting their lives on track.”
The housing authority started offering the loan program last year, when Belize was facing a severe housing shortage.
The housing market was so low that many families lived in shacks or rented out rooms in their basements, Murgiia said, and they didn’t have enough to pay rent.
The Housing Authority was working with local nonprofits to help people pay for a house and help them find a new place to live.
The Belize Real Estate Association, which runs the housing authority, has teamed up with a nonprofit called Belize Housebuyers to help borrowers navigate the process.
The program allows borrowers in the United States to borrow up to $500 to pay down a $500 mortgage and for an additional $100 to pay property taxes.
For some borrowers, that’s all they need.
For example, Laura Hickey, who lives in Belmopan, had to borrow the money for a $900 down payment and $1,200 for property taxes on a $3.9 million home.
The Hickey family is part of a growing number of Belizeans living in shack or renting out their homes.
Hickey said she started the loan in April after the Housing Authority closed its offices in Belmar and the Belmopana Housing Authority, which she said didn’t provide adequate funding for housing.
“I needed the money to be able to buy my house, which was $1.4 million,” Hickey told MTV News.
Hicky said she and her husband decided to put down $1 million on a Belize house for the house they already owned.
She has been living in a one-bedroom house with her husband since the start of the program.
“He is the only one who has a job and he’s a stay-at-home dad,” Hicker said.
The house they purchased in March has two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Hiccups with the housing market have been common.
Belize’s housing market has been in crisis for years.
The country has seen a record number of people move to Belize over the past decade, and the number of new homes built has been on a downward trend.
Belmopans median income has dropped to $1 an hour in 2016 from $2 an hour before the Great Recession.
The economy is expected to contract another 2 percent this year.
“People are living in houses, but they’re not being able to afford them,” Murtia said of Belmopannans housebuyers.
“So they have to borrow to buy their home.”
Murgia said the housing agency hopes to have a permanent office open this fall in the Belenas historic town of Mango.
“That office is going to be focused on helping people with their financing needs,” she said.
Murtias office is located in the historic town hall, which is one of the oldest buildings in the country.
The town hall houses the town hall of the town of Belenampos.
Belenamps housing authority has partnered with a Belmopanian nonprofit to help the Belizer community find a house for sale.
The organization works with people who live in the neighborhood and helps them pay off their mortgages and make sure their taxes are paid.
The group also helps people who are in need of a new home find a vacant one.
Mecia said she believes that the housing system in Belized has been working for years to improve the lives of the people who reside in the area.
“For years, it was a very low income area, so it wasn’t really the focus of the government,” she explained.
“Now, it’s a much higher income area.”
Murtios plan is to create a permanent Belmopano office.
“The way the housing is managed in Belen is a lot different from the way it is in Belis,” she added.
Moresaid that the Beliomancan community needs to understand how the housing problem is different than other areas in Belizaras economy.