Better known as the Barrio de las Mil Casas… over 1500 houses built in the space of about 20 city blocks. It seems like the boxes go on forever! Many have been nicely maintained, & modifications remain faithful to the original design. There is a tree-filled plaza to break up the monotony & the neighborhood assembly is located across the street. There was a bit more variety than in other CCM projects, probably due to the sheer quantity of units constructed. It could use more plant life along wider streets, but it seemed like a nice place to live. I really liked the updated green house… yummy.
Update (20 Aug 2014): New info about the CCM… three entire pages!! Government-published propaganda titled “La Ciudad Se Transforma” highlights the change in Buenos Aires under Carlos Noel (appointed mayor of Buenos Aires, 1922-27). His term in office neatly coincides with that of the CCM. The amount of text is surprising since it has been so difficult to find documentation about la Compañía. Surely there’s more to discover! Below is my translation of the original pages (in Spanish). Special thanks to Historia Digital for scanning the entire book.
The Compañía de Construcciones Modernas has built close to 4,000 properties in less than 3 years
Every city has, among the complex problems that modern life creates, the issue of housing which looms like a ghost over the middle class and the proletarian masses. For multiple reasons, Dr. Noel was obliged to confront it head on from his first days in office, one of his initial measures being the elimination of fees and even five years of tax breaks for those who constructed up to 1925. Such a favorable environment has undoubtedly led to an increase in construction in the past few years, allowing property owners to increase the number of rooms or apartments on their land as well as build others, given the plentiful profit they obtain even today.
10,000 affordable houses
Aiding with the mayor’s propositions, the city council dug up an ordinance dated from 1913 that World War I prevented from fulfilling, authorizing the CCM to build 10,000 affordable houses to be sold in the long term. These houses would consist of 5 rooms, a bathroom and a kitchen & fit inside blocks of 100 square varas (the equivalent of 7,000 meters squared, the standard city block in Buenos Aires). The price of said houses is 13,750 pesos, and monthly rent of 85 pesos covers interest & repayment.
How they are built
The CCM operates with 3 million pesos of capital, distributed among 30,000 shares of stock at 100 pesos each, and has supervised the building of homes. Complying with the ordinance, the CCM has construction contracts with the General Company of Public Works for 736 houses; with Wayss & Freytag for 1,123 and with Hardcastle, Inc. for 1,871: total-to-date 3,730. Currently the CCM constructs houses itself with expressly contracted technical staff.
It is truly interesting to witness the development of these constructions. Applying a work system on grand scale, over the course of only a few days a new neighborhood suddenly emerges. Of course, with only 3 million in capital, the CCM could not complete such an extensive plan but as expected, their project has developed well.
For each house that the CCM hands over & has approved, as per the ordinance the city government issues a bond of 10,000 pesos for the initial mortgage. These titles, called “mortgage bonds for affordable construction”, return 7% annual interest and are redeemed by means of 1% accumulative payoff, distributed at the end of each trimester.
It should be mentioned that the discussed iniciative in all its worth, owes its success in first place to Dr. Ricardo Aldao, Jr. as president and to the general director of the CCM, Mr. Luis Rossi. With zeal and unequalled drive, they have made a pleasant idea reality by making the dream come true for those with low income… the possibility of owning their own home.
Direct link → Master list of all Housing for the Masses posts.