Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ISI Steel set to build affordable and safe ‘Mekong Homes’ for rural families

ISI Steel set to build affordable and safe ‘Mekong Homes’ for rural families

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Jitwattanatam (second to left) and Leng (third to right) exchange documents at the signing ceremony. Photo supplied

ISI Steel set to build affordable and safe ‘Mekong Homes’ for rural families

Rural communities’ nightmare to own houses may be over soon. Cash-strapped rural land owners can now look forward to affordable and comfortable homes.

And, able to live in modern houses and enjoy their rustic lifestyle – once a distant dream to many in remote provinces.

Thanks to ISI Steel Co., Ltd. The Cambodian company is taking its many years of building expertise to rural areas to build shelters for low income earners outside the city, where proper housing remains a pressing issue despite falling poverty rate.

The company has embarked on a project to build Khmer-styled houses with modern facilities for rural land owners and also provide special low-interest loans to potential land owners to help finance the construction.

ISI launched the Mekong Homes project – which conflates modernity and traditional architecture – to provide healthy, affordable and cozy homes.

ISI, a specialist in steel manufacturing, has constructed over 200 houses nationwide since it launched the Mekong Homes project in August 2017 and another 100 units are under construction.

All the units were built in 24 provinces using materials produced in ISI factory.

This year, the company targets to build 1,000 houses.

ISI’s business model is simple. The company provides the construction expertise, easy payment scheme, and land owners can hire them to build quality steel houses, replacing timber-styled structures that are often exposed to weather risks such as prolonged summer or heavy rainfall.

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ISI Steel initiated Mekong Houses project will benefit thousands of people who live in poor conditions in rural areas and do not have access to institutional lendings. Photo supplied

The environment-friendly home sizes are – 6m x 6m stilt house and 9m x 6m unit – which can be built for customers in 25 provinces across the country, just within a month.

In addition, the houses come with additional green technology fittings, such as bio-gas and solar power, which is another ISI move to tap into the abundance of renewable energy available in the country and to curb rural pollution.

The Mekong Homes includes a warranty on selected components for up to 10 years.

ISI teamed up with Hatja Lasekar Limited, by signing a memorandum of understanding on February 21, to provide low interest loans to assist rural Cambodians finance their new housing project.

According to the company, most rural familiwes with low income face difficulties to obtain financing from banks to build new homes or refurbish existing houses, and therefore forced to live in dilapidated houses without proper sanitation, clean water or electricity.

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Thus, it is hard to break out of the poverty cycle.

“The purpose of constructing the Mekong Homes is to contribute to the development of better living conditions for rural Cambodian people who have low income.

“So they can afford to live in a clean, nice and last long home, with the affordable price, especially [in a safe] environment,” said ISI Group Chief Executive, Kaing Leng at the signing ceremony.

ISI Steel is a subsidiary of ISI Group.

He added that ISI targets to build 100,000 houses in the next 10 years as part of the company’s vision to provide better living for the rural community.

Wanchairabin Jitwattanatam, Deputy General Director of Hattha Kaksekar said, “As an institution that has served in the Cambodian financial market for more than 20 years, we have helped to improve the living standard[s] of the people, as well as boosting the Cambodian economy through the provision of affordable and competitive financial services to all urban and rural people”.

Hattha Kaksekar is the third largest microfinance institution licensed by the National Bank of Cambodia and a subsidiary of Bank of Ayudhya Public Company Limited (Krungsri), a leading commercial bank in Thailand and a strategic member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.

The signing took place at Mekong Homes’ sales office in Phnom Penh.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

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