Grant Winner | Housing Construction
cdcb | come dream. come build.
Rio Grande Valley, Texas-Mexico Border
MiCASiTA is a unique off-the-shelf environmentally sustainable, disaster-resilient modular homeownership innovation. It is designed for rural families across the Rio Grande Valley and more communities struggling with persistent poverty nationwide. MiCASiTA marks a departure from a one-size-fits-all model to a system that empowers communities of color with modest incomes to choose and design their own homes.
MiCASiTA is a collaboration between two Texas-based nonprofits: cdcb | come dream. come build., a community development housing organization, and buildingcommunityWORKSHOP or [bc], a community design center.
The team developed the MiCASiTA concept based on their experience creating affordable homes to support communities recovering from climate disasters.
Like many border communities, the Rio Grande Valley suffers from extreme poverty and unsafe, unhealthy, and dilapidated homes. The construction of traditional affordable homes depends on complex building techniques, designs, and delivery systems that can drive up costs and limit production.
Additionally, the single-family housing industry often requires significant down payment resources, which excludes many from being able to purchase their own homes. As a result, countless families resort to high-interest credit cards to build or expand their homes with low-quality materials that can be hazardous and costly to maintain.
MiCASiTA’s “Grow Home” concept means families have the option to begin with a house that has a small footprint and expand it with additional rooms as their finances, needs and dreams evolve. The model also provides a low-cost mortgage so families can begin accumulating equity even before their home is “fully grown.”
The Choice Empowers app also allows families to choose where they want to place the bedrooms, how many sinks they want in their bathroom, etc., and see how those decisions affect costs in real time.
“The Breakthrough Challenge has never been about Wells Fargo or Enterprise – or cdcb or [bc]. It’s about these houses and the people who are going to be able to buy them. You can’t ask for a better partner than that.”
― Nick Mitchell-Bennett, cdcb | come dream. come build.
MiCASiTA homes are built at a Brownsville, Texas, production site, known as “the farm.” Production at the barn-like facility creates local jobs and minimizes the cost of transporting the modular homes to nearby communities.
Homes are slated to meet Enterprise Green Communities certification, and are built without proprietary materials, specialized machinery, or 3D printing. The delivery model is designed to be replicable and scaled to communities across the country.
For MiCASiTA, success lies in the creation of a homebuyer-led design and production system that meets rural housing needs in the Rio Grande Valley – and is easily adopted and implemented across the country.
That system seeks to increase community choice and empowerment, improve families’ physical health and ﬁnancial well-being, and support the development and transfer of intergenerational wealth.
A Home that Grows
Learn how cdcb and bcWORKSHOP created MiCASiTA, a sustainable homeownership solution offering families the power to begin with a house that has a small footprint and expands as their finances, needs and dreams evolve.
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