Sustainable Shelter -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

Sustainable Shelter


Katie Schwamb, an HFHI employee, works on an “A Brush with Kindness” house in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.


Sustainability: A holistic approach

Habitat for Humanity’s sustainable development philosophy is reflecting a more holistic approach to our programs. To understand and appreciate the breadth of this approach across our ministry, Steve Weir provides definitions and summarizes some of the approaches outlined in this issue of the Forum.

A pathway to lasting, dependable access

The desire to help families navigate the often complex housing process has led many HFH programs to expand from house builder to facilitator of housing programs. Habitat’s housing microfinance programs emerge from this expansion, addressing one of the most persistent challenges families face in acquiring adequate shelter for their families: appropriate housing finance services.

Post-disaster relocation poses extra challenges

Poor and vulnerable populations often face permanent relocation following a disaster. Habitat for Humanity’s tsunami experience reinforces the rule of thumb in disaster response, which is to “limit relocation to what is essential for safety” to maintain community sustainability.

Romanian Casa Buna: Affordable steel housing for new generations

A partnership with ArcelorMittal Foundation leads to direct financial contributions to Habitat, volunteer opportunities for ArcelorMittal employees and development of a light steel housing solution with both environmental and financial sustainable outcomes.

Surviving—and thriving—in hard times

Sustaining our work through the current recession in the United States has been especially poignant for Habitat for Humanity, since the cause of this downturn was in the housing industry, with too many families buying homes with financing terms they couldn’t afford, triggering defaults, foreclosures and a meltdown in the global financial system.

Protecting the environment and the livelihoods of families served: A case study from Ethiopia

Energy-saving stoves in Habitat for Humanity homes in Ethiopia offer a sustainable alternative to the traditional cook stove and contribute to the preservation of the forest, which helps ensure sustainable livelihoods for the next generation.

More than houses in LA/C

A home is not a solution if it does not include a sustainable approach through human and social dynamics. The author provides examples of LA/C housing projects that focus on the relationship between constructing a house and living in a household and a community.

Book review of Portfolios of the Poor: How the World’s Poor Live on $2 a Day

Patrick Kelley reviews the book by Daryl Collins, Jonathan Morduch, Stuart Rutherford and Orlanda Ruthven

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