Washington Post article on Honduran Migration to the US quotes the desire of a would be immigrant: “'I don’t want a mansion. Just a humble little house with a roof and running water,' he said."
Finding ways to help Central American's achieve their dream of decent housing could be a key incentive to an effective guest worker program. A program that would allow workers for a defined period in the US during which time they could pay a portion of their salary into a "housing fund" which would be matched by their employer. This approach could permit the establishment of an effective guest worker program. This program would provide the US the labor needed to move our economy forward as well as provide these workers with a key asset, a home in their home country, which they can only access upon their return home.
Central America Guest Worker Housing Concept
Opportunity – A guest worker program that includes a housing initiative paid for by workers and their employers at the end of a five year work period in the US would have financed a housing fund (7.5 percent from workers and matched by employers) valued at $25,000. This housing fund would only be available for purchase of a residence in the worker’s home country upon his return there.
Market Size - The potential size of this market could exceed $3 billion depending on the number of guest workers authorized, the length of their work period, and their wage scale. With appropriate legislation in place, this market could be attractive to the US modular home industry.
Role of US Housing Industry – Modular housing industry would (1) support an advocacy campaign to establish the guest worker program housing initiative, (2) develop with support from US foreign assistance agencies a pilot manufacturing activity in Central America, and (3) plan a major expansion of export marketing as policy framework put in place in US communities.
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