Habitat for Humanity Guyana
Habitat's work in Guyana
Guyana News and Stories
Housing need in Guyana
Set like a gem in the crown of South America, Guyana’s many waterways reflect the source of its nickname, “The Land of Many Waters.” It is a country full of natural wealth, including savannahs, mountains and rustic eco-tourism paths for the adventurous. Guyana is the only English-speaking country on South America and has a population of approximately 800,000 people, which is less than the number of Guyanese residing outside the country. Guyana’s coastal zone is home to home to 90 percent of the country’s population, creating significant urban density in Georgetown and rural density along the eastern and western coastlines.
Habitat for Humanity in Guyana
The Habitat for Humanity Guyana team believes that housing is a basic human need and right, and therefore it must be accessible to all. Since its launch in 1995, Habitat Guyana has supported approximately 5,000 families with improved access to housing and housing finance.
For more information, go to habitat.org.gy
Habitat’s contribution in Guyana
In 2012, a strategic planning process was initiated to update Guyana’s program model in an effort to position the organization as a housing market facilitator in contrast with its traditional role as a direct provider of low-cost, nonprofit mortgages.
To better meet the changing housing needs of families, the new program model focuses on community-based disaster risk reduction, volunteerism, access to housing finance and advocacy.
Habitat Guyana continues to facilitate the provision of low-cost houses, but its strategies to mobilize financing have shifted from direct provision to a mix of externally financed and sponsored houses. It partners with local financial institutions to mobilize capital from the housing market. Local and international corporations provide annual donations and implement joint social marketing initiatives and corporate volunteer projects.
Under its new program model, Habitat Guyana has launched several innovative projects:
Beharry Build: Using social marketing as a strategy to mobilize awareness and financing, this project provides families with housing financing. This project is in its second year.
Scotia Bank Build-a-Home: A pilot social-marketing initiative resulted in a three-year extension of this partnership to mobilize housing finance to single mothers and people with disabilities.
Habitat Guyana volunteer program: Habitat Guyana’s volunteer program, now in its second year, uses a structured approach to working with communities and volunteers in housing construction, disaster risk reduction, financial literacy, youth development and leadership training, and community mobilization and advocacy. In 2014, a campus chapter will be established at the University of Guyana. Habitat Guyana also is seeking local and international partnerships and allies to expand its program.
Increasing access to externally financed low-income mortgages: Through partnerships with local banks, Habitat Guyana helps families acquire low-cost mortgages. Habitat is currently producing a report based on its research on access to housing finance and the impact of affordable housing on breaking the cycle of poverty in Guyana. More advocacy support is required for this program.
For more information about Habitat Guyana, please contact us: email@example.com