Families served in 2016: 719
- Population: Nearly 68 million (July 2015 est.)
- Urbanization: 50.4 percent lives in cities (2015)
- Life expectancy: 74 years (2015 est.)
- Unemployment rate: 1 percent (2015 est.)
- Population living below poverty line: 12.6 percent (2012 est.)
- Access to improved water sources: 97.8 percent (2015 est.)
- Access to improved sanitation facilities: 93 percent (2015 est.)
Sources: World Factbook
Habitat for Humanity in Thailand
Habitat for Humanity began working in Thailand in the northeastern province of Udon Thani in 1998. Since July 2007, HFH Thailand has been operating through its national office in Bangkok and resource centers located in the north, northeast, central and south.
The housing need in Thailand
Since the 1980s, Thailand has achieved remarkable progress in economic growth and poverty reduction. According to World Bank, rising incomes have helped Thailand to reduce poverty significantly, from 67 percent in 1986 to 11 percent in 2014. More than 80 percent of the country’s 7.3 million poor live in rural areas although a third of the poor are currently in urban areas outside of Bangkok. Regions in the deep south and northeast as well as some ethnic groups are not benefitting equally from the country’s economic success. Increased urbanization, coupled with insufficient planning, has contributed to the creation of slums, particularly in the Bangkok metropolitan region which accounts for a majority of the slum settlements in Thailand.
How Habitat addresses the need in Thailand
Habitat for Humanity Thailand works with donors and volunteers in providing affordable housing solutions. Corporate partners include Dow, Coca-Cola, HMC Polymer, Cargill, Ananda Development, Siam Commercial Bank, Seagate, Caterpillar, Nissan, Cigna, Bank of America, P&G and HSBC. International schools and universities also lend a hand. In recent years, public sector support has come from the Government Housing Bank who not only funds Habitat Thailand’s projects but also sends their staff as volunteers on Habitat builds.
Building decent, affordable housing
Habitat for Humanity Thailand partners with low-income families and vulnerable groups to build, repair or rehabilitate their homes. Volunteer labor helps to reduce the cost of house construction.
A Habitat home partner saves 10-15 percent of the cost of the house before construction begins. Each home partner’s monthly repayments enable Habitat to help other families build homes and hope.
During the devastating floods of 2011, Habitat Thailand distributed clean-up kits and emergency shelter kits to nearly 4,000 families in 11 provinces. Habitat also helped more than 1,400 families to rebuild their homes and lives. In addition, 32 schools were rehabilitated and three multi-purpose buildings were built in Ayutthaya and Phitsanulok provinces.
Sustainable community development
In northern and southern Thailand, Habitat has rebuilt school dormitories and improved water and sanitation facilities in local schools and communities.
Meet a Habitat family
For 13 years, firefighter Sanit Srinuan and his family had to share a small house in Pathumthani province in central Thailand with six other relatives. When it rained, water would come into the house and his children’s textbooks would get wet. During the heavy flooding in 2011, Sanit could not go to work for two months and had to borrow money from his relatives for living expenses. Life looked up when he became a Habitat homeowner. “I did everything during the build. My wife also cooked lunch for the volunteers. I was very proud of our work. There was heavy rain but we kept going. I could not say ‘thank you’ enough to the Global Village team when they were leaving as I was crying. This Habitat house is real,” said Sanit.