Hábitat para la Humanidad Argentina
Habitat's work in Argentina
Housing need in Argentina
In December 2001, Argentina suffered a severe economic collapse that left 50 percent of the population below the poverty line. Today, almost one-third of Argentinean families live in inadequate housing conditions. Some 90 percent of the population resides in urban zones. According to the National Institute of Statistics and Census for Argentina, severely overcrowded houses–those with over three people to a room–constitute over 8 percent of this urban population.
In Argentina, loan facilities for acquiring a house are very restricted, mainly because of the inflation processes that have affected the economy in the last decades. Many middle income families can no longer afford new homes. Meanwhile, in precarious neighborhoods where low-income families reside, some 3 million homes are in need of either replacement or rehabilitation, and 20 percent of the country lacks a convenient water source for cooking. (World Bank, 2006)
Habitat for Humanity Argentina
Habitat for Humanity Argentina was officially constituted as a Civil Association in 2002.
In 2003, Habitat Argentina initiated the project “Rebuilding Santa Fe One House at a Time”, to assist families affected by severe flooding in Santa Fe that year. In collaboration with a local university, construction began on March 1, 2004. Just one day later, the first foundations were laid in the city of Luján.
Habitat for Humanity Argentina has built in Buenos Aires, Luján, Santa Fe and Cañada de Gomez. The organization is currently building in Buenos Aires and Santa Fe. Habitat Argentina’s projects include: Seed houses, Incremental Improvements, Assisted Rentals, Financial literacy, Legal literacy and Little Bricks (for children).
Habitat for Humanity Argentina supports several initiatives, in addition to traditional construction.
The growth problem in the big cities generates marginal communities that are outcaste from the urban weave. Buenos Aires is the main urban zone with a population of 13 500 000 and a housing deficit of 500 000 houses, on the other hand the urban zone of Gran Santa Fe with a population of 850 000 inhabitants is the second district with the higher housing deficit, they are lacking 310 000 houses. The Community Development Project aims to develop suburb communities in peripheral areas to the urban centers, through the strengthening of the capacities and the optimization of the existing resources within the same communities to achieve access to the adequate housing. The goal group is families with an income of at least 2 minimum wages. To accomplish the project’s goals it deploys a group of actions including: Credits, The Fund, Associate Work, Educational Spaces, Community Organization, and Constructive and Legal Advice
A study made in 2008 for Habitat for Humanity Argentina showed that many families pay for rents at a market price but for a place in an inadequate situation. The reasons that push these families to informal renting are the requirement to rent in the big cities such as the owning of a property in the city as a guarantee, which is something low income families do not have. This Project aims to acquire estate in order to transform it in apartments for rent with fair leases to help the transition towards formal renting for many families that pay an informal lease. Also, it aims to enable families to save in order to achieve the definite solution. At the moment the project is located in the south part of the city of Buenos Aires at La Boca neighborhood.
This Project was design to support the communities located in different spots of the country and because of their distance from the city don’t count with the resources to gain access for housing solutions. It offers minor repairs since it aids families that for being in a particular context are not able of paying a loan. The solutions it offers are of a very low cost and all operative development of the project is almost in its totality voluntary. In 2012 the project had the Río Chico Mission and the Impenetrable Chaqueño Mission.
Learn more about Habitat for Humanity in Latin America and the Caribbean.