– Year founded: 2,000
– People served: 8,710 FY16
– Volunteers hosted: 61 FY16
– Capital: Yerevan
– Proclaimed independence: 1991
– Population: 3.05 million
– Urbanisation: 62.7% live in cities
– Life expectancy: 74.6 years
– Unemployment rate: 18.5%
– Population living below poverty line: 32%
Habitat for Humanity Armenia
Habitat for Humanity Armenia is the national office of Habitat for Humanity International founded on the conviction that everyone should have a decent place to live. Since 2000, through the work of Habitat for Humanity Armenia, nearly 5,200 low-income families have found new hope in the form of affordable housing. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower.
The Housing Need in Armenia
A significant part of the housing stock in Armenia is in deplorable condition; there are no adequate maintenance and management systems in place.The main problems include insufficient energy
insulation, poor condition of the gas, water and sewerage systems and unhygienic conditions of bathrooms and kitchens. Insufficient window insulation is a major problem in all regions. Many families do not have access to drinking water. In certain regions, low-income families still heat their houses with wood because they have no heating system with natural gas. This, in turn, adversely affects the environment. Residential buildings’ maintenance funds formed by the mandatory fees paid by homeowners are too low to cover repair costs. In addition, these buildings do not have proper energy insulation because old construction methods were not based on modern energy efficiency standards. In Armenia, almost half of the population lives in apartment buildings (around 19,000 buildings and 435,350 apartments). The vast majority of the housing continues to deteriorate.
How Habitat for Humanity addresses the housing need in Armenia
Typically, Habitat Armenia works with low-income families to build, renovate or improve homes that are paid for over time by affordable mortgages or loans. More recently Habitat for Humanity Armenia has increased their stake in affordable housing by helping to institutionalize energy efficiency in the country. By partnering with financial institutions, local municipalities, as well as international organizations, home owner associations and tenants of residential buildings, Habitat Armenia initiates substantial sustainable energy projects in residential sector.
Here are some examples of Habitat projects in Armenia:
Includes the following projects: Building hope in female-headed households; Use of solar energy by low-income families; Renewable energy financing project.
These projects help low and middle income families renovate and repair their homes, improve energy efficiency, water and sanitation conditions, and create access to solar energy. Low and middle income families often face problems receiving loans from banks due to insufficient income. Through collaboration with microfinance institutions, Habitat Armenia provides access to finance for these families. Habitat Armenia also provides construction technical assistance to partner families through on-site construction technical advice and information brochures, and institutional technical assistance to partner finance institutions through training programs. These projects allow volunteers to help partner families with construction.
Solar energy is an efficient solution for low-income families. Given the high solar potential of Armenia and the usage of solar thermal systems, successful implementation of solar energy projects will significantly compensate for the constantly rising energy prices thus helping to improve social well-being of the population. Habitat Armenia promotes the use of solar energy giving families affordable hot water throughout the year.
Residential Buildings’ Renovation and Energy Upgrade; Homeowner Associations Capacity Building
Includes the following projects: Multi-apartment building common area renovation; Residential energy efficiency for low-income households; Access to renewable and efficient energy in Vayk and Spitak municipalities.
Through these projects Habitat Armenia helps homeowner associations to renovate shared facilities of residential buildings and improve their energy efficiency. The overall objective of these projects is to support municipalities and homeowner associations to develop and test replicable and efficient models to save energy through energy efficient measures and the use of renewable sources in residential buildings, as well as to maintain residential buildings. Within the scope of these projects Habitat Armenia collaborates with financial institutions and municipalities which provide up to 40 percent subsidy. Through these projects, 20 residential buildings have been upgraded.
Meet a Habitat Family
“I have always been dreaming of creating comfort for my children but could never afford it. When my son married and the family expanded it was hardly possible to renovate the house on our own,” Marietta Ghazaryan shared. Thanks to Habitat Armenia, Marietta and her son´s family renovated their home and now live in decent housing conditions. The renovation has changed many aspects of their lives. There are no leaks from the roof and the humidity has decreased. The family feels safer and living has become much easier. Thanks to the support from Habitat Armenia the family achieved the strength, stability and self-reliance they needed for a better future.
In 2015, Habitat for Humanity Zambia built a new four-room house and a ventilated improved pit latrine for the family, under the Orphaned and Vulnerable Children housing project. “I used to cry day and night after my son’s death because he was our only hope to decent shelter. But my hope of adequate housing was restored by Habitat Zambia. Thank you so much for the house and toilet you constructed for my family, life has changed for better,” shared Belita. She adds that the new house offers a conducive environment for the children to study, it is well ventilated and very safe as it has lockable windows and doors.
What you can do
You can help Armenian families improve their living conditions:
Volunteer: form a team and volunteer in Armenia.
To learn more about Habitat projects in Armenia, or in other parts of the region, please contact us.