Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter

Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter

Building and expanding inclusive housing markets.

Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity has helped 9.8 million people find strength, stability and independence through safe, decent and affordable shelter.

With more than 1.6 billion people across the globe who still lack adequate and decent shelter, Habitat’s market development programs are continually pursuing new strategies to assist even more families in need of a safe place to call home.

To that end, Habitat for Humanity established the Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter to work with housing market systems by supporting local firms and expanding innovative and client-responsive services, products and financing so that households can improve their shelter more effectively and efficiently.

Acting as a market facilitator through the Terwilliger Center, Habitat can have exponentially more impact by improving systems that make better housing possible for millions more families, most of whom build their homes in stages.

The Terwilliger Center’s approach stays true to Habitat for Humanity’s original principles of self-help and sustainability by focusing on improving systems that enable families to achieve affordable shelter without needing ongoing direct support.

The principles that guide the work of the Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter are:

  • Striving for large-scale impact.
  • Ensuring sustainability so that solution remains available to households after the Terwilliger Center ceases its support.
  • Emphasizing the role of the private sector.
  • Enabling systemic change and attempting to address underlying problems and challenges in the market.
  • Working as a facilitator to improve the ability of other market players to deliver the solution themselves.

The Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter strategy focuses on:

  • Mobilizing the flow of capital to the housing sector.
  • Serving as facilitator and advisor to market actors.
  • Advancing the knowledge around housing markets through research, toolkits and public dissemination.

Read the 2015-16 State of Housing Microfinance report in English and Spanish.

For more information, please email us at tcis@habitat.org or call 1-800-HABITAT.

Shelter solutions for people in sub-Saharan Africa

In partnership with the MasterCard Foundation, Habitat's Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter is providing technical assistance to six leading financial institutions in Uganda and Kenya to develop housing microfinance products and services to serve people living on less than US$5 per day.

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