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Rebuilding homes and lives in Chile

The Valparaíso fire that took place on the 12th of April 2014 destroyed 2,500 homes across 1,145 hectares, affecting some of the city’s poorest neighbourhoods and leaving many residents with nothing.

The fire spread rapidly as many of the city’s trademark steep hills and labyrinthine streets are not easily accessible by firefighters. The Chilean President called the fire “the worst in the history of the city”. Now almost 2 years later, the damage can still be seen in these neighbourhoods and many homes have not yet been rebuilt.

The Chilean Government designed a reconstruction plan with generous subsidies for all land owners to rebuild their houses and offered a housing subsidy of up to 36,000 USD per dwelling. Community Housing Ltd’s (CHL) local subsidiary, CHLA SpA were granted approval together with construction company Pacific Builders SpA, as Technical Assistance Providers (Prestadores de Asistencia Técnica) to design and build 14 of the destroyed houses. 11 of which are now completed with a couple unable to be executed due to a changed conditions.

The final house is awaiting approval of the modifications to the plans so that construction can commence.

For each home, the local CHL team works closely with the owner in all facets of the process – from applying for a government housing subsidy,  for the bank loan, to the design, planning and construction of the home.

As per CHL’s philosophy, the homes are designed and constructed to meet the individual needs of the owners. The keys are handed over only after the finished home is reviewed and signed off by the owner and the local Municipality.

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