- Families served in 2016: 1,604
- When the program started: 1989
- Families served: More than 27,800
- Housing solutions: New homes, Renovations, Repairs, Home improvements, Housing microfinance
- Population: 88.5 million
- Urbanization: 43.1 percent live in cities
- Life expectancy: 73.7 years
- Unemployment rate: 13 percent
- Population living below the poverty line: 25.2 percent
Habitat for Humanity in Egypt
HFH Egypt was founded in 1989, and has constructed and renovated over 27,800 homes to date, turning despair into hope for those living in 30 communities. HFH Egypt partners with the homeowners themselves and with other local associations to achieve its goals. By working with these organizations at the grassroots level, HFHE builds on their established knowledge and insight in the community. A group of local, representative volunteers serve as the housing committee which selects loan recipients from within their community.
Housing need in Egypt
In Egypt, more than 20 million people live in substandard housing conditions, with minimum means of improving their situation. Poverty housing is particularly common in the rural areas, where many families live in old mud brick houses with dirt floors, no doors Or windows and inadequate roofs made from thatch, branches or even sugar cane. These conditions provide little protection from snakes, insects, intruders, rain, or the extreme variations in temperature. The houses are dangerously hot in summer and below freezing temperatures in winter. Access to toilets and clean piped water is limited, causing severe health problems to occur. Moreover, large families are often crowded into one or two room structures. Some even share their homes with their livestock or poultry.
How Habitat addresses the need in Egypt
Houses built by HFH Egypt are simple and affordable, yet decent and durable. They are built using appropriate, locally-available building materials. The new homes protect the families from the elements and also allow them the opportunity to build a second floor in the future. HFH Egypt attempts to achieve its goals and reach this remarkable change in through partnerships with local NGOs. HFH Egypt also takes interest in the quality initiative in building houses through an engineer who supervises the construction process to ensure the homes are safe and healthy.
Habitat Egypt provides housing loans ranging from EGP 2,000 to EGP 12, 000 (equivalent to $257 to $1,542) to families in need for building, repairing and improving their homes.
HFH Egypt believes in the importance of the continuity of the program therefore the beneficiaries repay their loans so that the repayments of those revolving loans can be used to build other houses in the village. The loans a r e usually repaid in a period of three years and monthly repayments cannot exceed the value of 25 per cent of the beneficiary´s monthly income.
“Poorest of the poor” program
Based on the belief that every Egyptian has the right to a healthy house, HFH Egypt has agreed with their local partners to contribute towards the poorest of the poor communities by allocating 7 per cent of the annual housing to the “Poorest of the Poor” program, targeting those who are unable to pay in the form of non-refundable grants. This intervention succeeded in building and renovating more than 1314 homes until June 2015. This great success encouraged some of the donors to allocate a fair part of their donations to serving the “Poorest of The Poor” program hence HFH Egypt is able to continue serving this disadvantaged group.
Meet the family of Sharbat Adly Sadek
What is your motive to participate in the program?
I used to feel guilty towards my family, as I couldn’t provide them with a proper, safe house.
What were the main issues before improving your house?
We didn´t have enough space. All the family members were living in only 2 rooms and we used to share the space with the poultry. We were hoping to build a concrete roof for the third floor, which would expand the house for the family.
How much are you satisfied with your improved living conditions?
Improving the house conditions had a great positive effect on my family’s health. Thanks to Habitat Egypt we were finally able to build the roof. The house became more hygienic and safe to live in and the animals are currently staying in a separate floor, which definitely affects the family’s health in a positive way, and protects them from being infected by bird flu. Now we can live in peace and happiness. My family lives in a safe place.
What you can do
You can help needy Egyptian families improve their living conditions by taking one or more of the following actions:
Donate: Go to habitat.org/donate and designate your gift to Habitat Egypt.
Volunteer: Join one of the scheduled Global Village trips to Europe, Middle East and Africa or lead your own.
Tithe: Establish a strong and rewarding tithe partnership to help build houses globally! Quote 862400, EGYPT on your checks sent to: Habitat for Humanity International, Attn: Affiliate Tithe, 121 Habitat St. Americus, GA 31709
To learn more about Habitat projects in Egypt, please contact us.
Hany Kamal, National Director