In July 2007, three Americans formed PFNC Global Communities -- PFNC stands for "Por Fin, Nuestra Casa," which roughly translates as "Finally, our own home." The company makes the homes you see above out of inexpensive, readily available, shipping containers. Their goal is to provide affordable housing for some of the poorest in Cuidad Juarez, Mexico. These poor now live in houses made of scraps of paper and tin. PFNC wants factories who employ these people to offer homes as part of workers' benefits. Their plan may be working.
These diminutive homes are 320 square feet, around $8,000 with kitchen, bath, sleeping area. When drawings and color pictures of the prototype were shown around a poor Juarez neighborhood, people said, "You know it'd be like a dream to live in one of these," Nava said. "You know, just the thought of having nice fresh air ventilating through the house, a large bed ... a normal kitchen and a safe home that locks and closes each night was more than appealing."
The article about this project appeared on the CNN website. Brian McCarthy, the man who conceived of this idea, was visiting factories in Ciudad Juarez, across the boarder from El Paso, Texas, as part of finishing his MBA. After visiting the factories, a bus ride took him into an area of hundreds of ramshackle, tiny, paper and tin shacks that housed the workers of the factories he had just toured. In a moment, his life changed. It is one of the good stories.