– Year founded: 1988
– Urbanisation: 44% of people live in cities
– Life expectancy: 69.2 years
– Unemployment rate: 6.6%
– Population below poverty line: 25.2%
Habitat for Humanity Philippines
Since Habitat for Humanity Philippines started in 1988, it has served more than 140,000 families with decent housing. With significant scaling up of its activities, Habitat Philippines is able to help an average of over 25,000 families annually since 2013. Habitat and its partners also provide families with improved access to clean water, sustainable energy, healthcare, education and livelihood. In responding to natural disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes, Habitat Philippines aims to rebuild lives and increase resilience against future calamities.
The Housing Need in the Philippines
In the Philippines, nearly four million families are living in unsafe, unsanitary and unsustainable conditions. This was revealed in a housing roadmap study by the Philippines’ Subdivision and Housing Developers Association in cooperation with the Center for Research and Communications–University of Asia & the Pacific. The Philippine government’s current housing policy and mechanisms for housing subsidy have been deemed inadequate to resolve the rising housing deficit. By 2030, the housing backlog will increase to about 6.5 million units. Partnership between the Philippine government, private land developers, corporations and other organisations is key to the formation of a comprehensive and sustainable housing program to address the issue.
How Habitat for Humanity addresses the housing need in the Philippines
Habitat for Humanity works with government agencies, corporations, non-governmental organizations, and faith-based groups to build homes and hope. As the Philippines is hit by an average of 20 typhoons annually, responding to disasters is also a very significant part of Habitat’s work. These responses include a large-scale effort to help families affected by 2013’s Typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda) by providing them with permanent disaster-resilient homes. More recently, following Typhoon Nock-ten (local name: Nina) that struck the country on December 25, 2016, Habitat Philippines will provide house repair assistance to families in Albay and Camarines Sur, two of the worst-hit provinces. Habitat Philippines has also set its sights on reducing the total housing deficit in the country by 20 percent in 2020. The official launch of the “WeBuild” campaign in January 2016 enables Habitat Philippines to reach out to even more donors, partners and volunteers across various sectors in achieving its organizational goals. Habitat Philippines will further tap the power of social media in raising awareness of its work through the continuous support of its Online Champions. By working alongside families to build homes, international and local volunteers help to further Habitat’s mission to serve more families and create sustainable communities.
Urban Renewal and Development
Under the regular housing and community develop- ment programs, Habitat Philippines brings together Filipinos of different creeds, faiths and backgrounds to join hands in developing sustainable communities. Habitat Philippines aims to lift Filipino families out of overcrowded, unhealthy living conditions or displace- ment by providing them with decent shelter in healthy communities.
Youth Leadership Movement
Young people play an active leadership role in the shelter sector. Through the Habitat Youth Council and Habitat Young Leaders Build movement, they speak out on the need for a nation-wide shelter program, one city at a time.
Habitat Philippines provides immediate and long- term solutions to affected families and those living in disaster-prone areas through its disaster response and risk mitigation program. In addition to building disaster-resilient homes and repairing damaged homes, training is also conducted to help communities prepare for natural disasters and other calamities.
Awareness Raising and Advocacy
Habitat Philippines believes that every Filipino has the right to decent shelter and promotes dialogue between civic organizations, government, lawmakers, private sector, media and the academe to make shelter a priority. Filipinos are also stakeholders in Habitat Philippines’ effort to rally the nation to solve the housing deficit.
Meet a Habitat Family
Their children’s safety was the top priority for Alvin and Princess who live in the coastal city of Navotas. Due to the constant threats of storms and flooding, Princess said they were fearful for their family’s well-being.
The couple learned about the work of Habitat for Humanity Philippines through Alvin’s mother whose house was rebuilt by Habitat after being destroyed by Typhoon Nesat (locally known as Pedring) in September 2011. They decided to relocate to a new house that was built under a partnership between Habitat for Humanity Philippines and the local authorities in Navotas.
Living in the security of a Habitat home, Alvin and Princess can now focus on their goal. “We want to start our own graphic design studio,” said Alvin, a graphic designer.
“With our children by our side, they continue to be our source of inspiration to get us through whatever obstacles life throws at us,” he added.
To learn more about Habitat projects in the Philippines, or in other parts of the region, please contact us.