A home is a sanctuary, but for some, owning a home simply remains a dream. Kongngy Hav however is looking to change this by helping turn people’s home ownership dreams into reality with the development of a housing project for low-income earners.
Kongngy Hav, the founder of My Dream Home which he established in May 2015, said his housing project was targeted towards families and couples in the lower to middle income bracket earning about $300 a month.
“Less than $20,000 is required to construct a house, which is a good opportunity for the middle and lower-class income people,” he said.
My Dream Home aspires to contribute to Cambodia’s housing needs by building a community which prides itself on cleanliness and is equipped with strong infrastructure and facilities such as a school and market.
The location for the factory where Kongngy makes the specialised bricks for the housing project is along National Road 4 bordering Kandal province, with the housing estate in close proximity. Kongngy told Post Property that he increased the capacity of the housing project to 20 individual houses after he realised the initially planned ten houses was not enough to meet demand.
“Now we have built 20 houses, with each house being 24 square metres for the ground floor and 24 square metres for the first floor. All of the houses are constructed from interlocking bricks made by our My Dream Home team here in Cambodia,” he remarked.
Kongngy said he selected the specific location along National Road 4 for the factory and the housing project as it was close to the special economic zone.
“Those who come to buy these homes are mostly low-income people, such as motodup and taxi drivers and small-business operators,” he added. Houses in the My Dream Home complex are currently priced at $14,500.
In addition to the housing project, My Dream Home sells durable, inexpensive and environmentally friendly bricks directly to those looking to construct an individual home or business, such as a coffee shop or restaurant.
According to Kongngy, the high-quality bricks work similar to Lego toy bricks, simply interlocking when they are assembled, reducing the need for construction labour skills. Kongngy said the bricks do not need to be kiln fired, reducing time and costs.
“We make the homes affordable by using inexpensive bricks and providing long-term, low-cost loans,” he added.
Kongngy described the housing project as a social enterprise initiative but had hope for the future that the government would join in to solve the growing need for affordable housing in the Kingdom.
“I want low-income earners to have a house they can call their own in a good and safe environment,” he said.
Kongngy sees potential to build more houses in the near future to cater to the healthy demand, explaining that he will look to expand the business by finding a partner and selecting a different location to build an extra 50 or so houses.
According to Kongngy, there is currently a trend of people migrating from the provinces to Phnom Penh for work, which is driving up the need for affordable housing solutions.
“If we build houses that are expensive and inappropriate, people moving to the city are left with limited options when it comes to housing,” he said.
Oi Lean is a new resident of the My Dream Home project, having recently left her hometown in Battambang province to live in the new complex with her daughter who was able to purchase a house.
Talking to Post Property soon after she had moved in, Lean said the living conditions were impressive as there were large living spaces and a clean surrounding environment. Lean hopes to see more of these types of housing projects in Cambodia.
“I want to see more projects like this which build affordable houses for low-income people in the future,” she said.