Unlocking the Economic and Social Value of Low-Income Families' Homes Through Property Formalization The lack of formal property rights leaves families vulnerable to eviction and forcible displacement and prevents them from engaging in the formal economy and accessing basic services. Obtaining formal property rights can lead to a variety of benefits including increased access to financial services, economic stability, ability to transfer assets, private investment in small business and/or home improvements, environmental stewardship, and civic participation. Despite over $100 billion spent on government-driven formalization programs over the past 40 years, there is still a large proportion of people without property protections globally. It's estimated that the lack of property rights affects more than 2 billion low-income families around the world.
Over 55% of families in Colombia reside on informal property, which has been both a cause and consequence of five decades of armed conflict in the country. Suyo, a public benefit corporation, has developed a model to provide more affordable and reliable property formalization services to low-income families using technology tools and innovative customer and financing partnerships. In addition to the direct benefits provided to its customers in terms of increased income, property values, access to credit, etc., Suyo is pioneering a new approach of applying a private sector model to improve access to public services in an area where governments haven't been able to close the gap. UP invested in Suyo's seed round so that they could make technology improvements, increase sales through strategic engagement with large employer groups and other partnerships, and scale up operations with a goal of breaking even within two years. Suyo plans to extend its reach in Colombia and establish a viable model that can be replicated through partnerships regionally and beyond.