Back to Top


Project supporting the development of Mutuel self-help and collective property Housing Cooperatives in Nicaragua


The project is located in the Matagalpa region in Nicaragua, still one of the poorest countries in Latin America. The lack of adequate housing is a serious challenge, both nationally and regionally. Qualitative deficits and the exposure to environmental hazards (landslides, floods, earthquakes) are additional problems faced by the population. Housing construction is dominated by private real estate companies that fail to offer affordable financing to the majority of the population.

Thanks to CENCOVICOD – the Nicaraguan Central of Mutual Help Housing Cooperatives – around 40 housing cooperatives based on the FUCVAM model (collective property, self-management and mutual help) were constituted in the past years. The model allows for reducing the costs of housing production, hence providing access to adequate housing for a larger part of the population. However, this alternative form of access to housing faces some challenges: the need for granting access to land and affordable financing, and to constantly put pressure on public authorities in order to ensure their support to the cooperative housing model. Forging alliances with local authorities constitutes in fact a key factor for success. Technical assistance, crucial for the constitution of housing cooperatives and the building process, is currently provided by CENCOVICOD with the support of We Effect, a non-profit linked to the cooperative housing movement in Sweden. Until recently, CENCOVICOD has not been active in the Matagalpa region.

Le projet se déroule dans le département de Matagalpa, au Nicaragua, qui reste un des pays plus pauvres de l’Amérique latine. Les besoins en logements sont très élevés, à l’échelle nationale et à l’échelle de la région. De plus, de nombreuses familles sont logées dans des zones à risque et dans des bâtiments en mauvais état. La construction de logements neufs est principalement aux mains d’entreprise immobilières qui proposent des crédits inaccessibles à la majorité des gens.

The Project CoopMatagalpa

The project aims to support the constitution of a technical assistance unit within the multidisciplinary cooperative MULTIPRO, partner of urbaMonde, in order to promote the development of cooperative housing in Matagalpa. The model of access to housing promoted by CENCOVICOD is without precedent in the Matagalpa region.

Activities include:

  • The coordination of political advocacy driven by CENCOVICOD that aims at urging local and national authorities to acknowledge cooperative housing within their social housing policies.
  • The promotion of the FUCVAM model among the local population in order to incubate new projects.
  • Building the capacities of the technical assistance unit and of the members of housing cooperatives to facilitate the appropriation of the model.

The project shall allow for the legal constitution of approximately 7 housing cooperatives, the monitoring of 1 or 2 construction sites, and the strengthening of the cooperative housing movement both at the regional and national level.

The members of the housing cooperatives, approximately 250 families, will benefit directly from the project. Municipalities, embracing the model as part of their social housing policies, and inhabitants of the Matagalpa region will benefit indirectly.




Multipro R.L. - technical assistance
Housing Cooperative Santa Maria de Esquipulas
Housing Cooperative Solidaridad
Housing Cooperative Bendicion de Dios
Housing Cooperative Victorias de Noviembre