Habitat for Humanity Colombia
Habitat's work in Colombia
Colombia News and Stories
Habitat for Humanity in Colombia
Habitat Colombia began operations in 1984 and since then has worked with more than 3,800 families to achieve their dream of decent housing. Habitat Colombia seeks to contribute to solving the problem of the qualitative housing deficit in the country. To learn more visit: www.hphcolombia.org
Housing need in Colombia
According to National Statistics Department’s 2014 survey, Colombia is made up of 13.5 million households, of which a quarter (24.6%) do not have adequate housing conditions. Of that figure, 9.3% do not have a decent place to live and 15.3% live in housing that does not meet adequate standards. This means that the need for improvement or expansion of existing housing surpasses the need to produce new housing.
The causes of inadequate housing in Colombia are a combination of factors: a) insufficient and ineffective public policy, b) market failures, and c) mass migration driven by economic reasons and displacement caused by the armed conflict, all of which have created the conditions for the poor to turn to informal mechanisms of land access and housing construction.
Habitat’s contribution in Colombia
Habitat for Humanity Colombia believes in adequate housing as a catalyst for the transformation of communities. It has therefore adopted as its work’s central focus the Neighborhood Revitalization Iniciative, a type of territorial intervention that values the achievements of communities in their process of self-construction.
Neighborhood revitalization iniciative
Habitat Colombia set a goal to build a model of urban intervention for overall improvement of neighborhoods, which includes both housing improvement as well as collective infrastructure (sports areas and backstreets). The strategy is developed through two pilot projects: Ciudadela Sucre in Soacha and Comuna 15 in Cali, covering a total population of 100,000.
Habitat Colombia has three types of volunteerism:
- Corporate: providing organizations the opportunity to encourage teamwork, improve relationships among co-workers and sensitize employees about the importance of adequate housing.
- Global Village: It gives people the opportunity to travel to Colombia to work on home improvements, high impact brigades participate in public policy advocacy events.
- Individual Volunteerism: an opportunity given to people to support Habitat Colombia’s operational management.
Habitat Colombia has made home improvements largely in the municipality of Soacha and in a smaller percentage, construction of new
homes. Through its housing access services, Habitat Colombia has facilitated technical assistance and training, as well as neigborhood diagnosis. The purpose of empowering families is that they can acquire good habits and practices and improve their quality of life and their environment.
Meet a Habitat family
Ibeth Cecilia’s family was displaced by the armed conflict in Colombia. She is a housewife and lives with her husband and 3 children. The eldest daughter is 18 and attends college, her second daughter is 13 and attends high school and has a 9 year-old-boy who has a degenerative disease and is disabled. For this reason, Ibeth has been dedicated to raising and caring for her son, while her husband takes care of family finances. Their home improvement was conducted in May 2015 with the support of P&G. “Thank God we now have a house that gives more security and stability for my children,” said Ibeth.
What you can do
You can help families living in unsanitary and overcrowded conditions in Colombia, by one or more of the following:
If you wish to donate please use the following link:
Join one of Global Village’s scheduled trips to Colombia or organize your own brigade. For more information, please visit: habitat.org/gv/catalog/lac
To learn more about Habitat Colombia’s programs, please contact:
Chris Govers, Programs Manager email@example.com