Families served in 2016: 66
Habitat for Humanity Argentina
Since 2002, Habitat for Humanity Argentina has put its faith into action as a Christian organization by mobilizing people and resources to promote access to adequate housing.
Housing need in Argentina
The housing deficit in Argentina reaches about 3 million homes. This deficit increases at a rate of approximately 36,000 homes per year. In addition, on 12,200,000 total households, 16% are rental housing,which is equivalent to 2 million families. Migratory movements, limited scope of social housing programs and mortgage credit shortage are factors that influence the problem of housing shortage in Argentina, which is compounded by the significant increase in land prices in recent years.
Families who lack adequate housing have, however, a historical ability to slowly and strenuously build and improve their habitat. To do this, they first need to have a safe ground. So it is that the issue of land policies appears, at this time, as a more important issue than housing policies. Without that access to safe land, communities that self-constructed their homes as part of the social production of a habitat are forced to populate the few lots they have, creating great density in emerging neighborhoods and transforming them into urban spaces that will be difficult to legalize in the future. Understanding the importance of the access to safe land for housing construction, and suitable neighborhoods is very important.
Habitat’s contribution in Argentina
We are a Christian organization that promotes access to adequate housing for the most vulnerable populations. Through our projects, we offer families living in inadequate conditions the opportunity to manage a comprehensive solution to their housing problem. We also promote human and community develop-ment to ensure a sustainable solution over time. The type of solutions can be: loans to build or improve housing; legal technical assistance including for self assisted building; and regulated rents.
Neighborhood Development: A project that aims to facilitate the process of housing production and strengthens the capacities of the neighborhoods in greater urban areas. It is carried out in the provinces of Buenos Aires and Santa Fe and includes a strong volunteerism element.
Urban solutions: A project that focuses on families who pay rent in informal tenements, tenancies and pension hotels. By recycling urban spaces, and through workshops and guarantees, the “Protected Rent” project is carried out, advocating the right to an adequate rent.
Gran Chaco: A project that makes improvements in the homes of people in a very poor area of the country such as the Gran Chaco in northern Argentina. It also includes a strong volunteerism element.
Meet a Habitat family
Without disowning her past, Elizabeth Rodriguez shares her housing situation prior to having access to the opportunity to rent with tutelage of Habitat Argentina, in the Estela de Esperanzas (Wake of Hope) building -built thanks to the efforts of donors, businesses and volunteers under the ‘Reciclando Hogares Urbanos’ -Recycling Urban Households- project.
“I lived in a tiny space, with high humidity, which barely had room for a closet and an external bathroom shared with 8 other families. For the shower and the bathroom you had to take turns or you had to get up early. Elizabeth remembers the number of uses she gave to the room: “It was a place to study, kitchen, dining room and bedroom. An all in one environment.” While the tenement was damp and overcrowded, it was harder for them to find other options: “Working irregularly and with- out a paycheck or owner guarantees, it was very difficult. It was actually better to stay here to face even worse or more dangerous conditions.
Elizabeth tells what her new home and life mean to them: “This building is a place to rest, where we have the possibility of each being in our own room, having our personal space. A place where we live happily, with-out dampness or odors, with air to breathe.”
What you can do
You can help families in need in Argentina living in unhealthy and overcrowded conditions, by doing one or more of the following:
Volunteer: Join one of Global Village’s trips scheduled to Argentina or organize your own brigade. If you are interested in international volunteering with Habitat Argentina for a period of three months or more, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about Habitat’s programs in Argentina, please contact us:
María Constanza Ledesma
Resource Development Coordinator
Ariel Alejandro Sosa