Date when Habitat started working in the country
Individuals served in FY17
Volunteers hosted in FY17
New, improvements, repairs
Habitat for Humanity in Colombia
Habitat for Humanity Colombia has been operating for more than two decades. Aligned with sustainable development objectives, we have been contributing to build lasting and sustainable peace through solidary solutions for inclusive and resilient communities. This is possible by building innovative, eco-friendly and socially responsible housing solutions. We work side by side with communities in the di erent regions where we are present.
For more information, visit: www.hphcolombia.org.
The housing need in Colombia
According to the DANE 2014 survey, Colombia has approximately 13.5 million houses, of which one fourth (24.6 percent) suffers a qualitative or quantitative de cit. In Colombia, the housing problem results from a combination of different factors: lack of public policy enforcement, market failures, massive migrations to cities due to economic reasons and forced displacement caused by armed conflict.
Those factors generate large numbers of a vulnerable population to create informal, unplanned settlements without secure land tenure (invasion) and to building shelters that do not comply with the minimum habitability requirements.
The current housing design in vulnerable communities in Colombia is progressive. Families build on their own and with the resources they have, without technical knowledge to ensure a long-lasting construction.
Habitat’s contribution in Colombia
We believe a decent place to live can change lives and transform communities. In the last 20 years, we have been able to convince thousands of individuals, companies and communities to actively participate in the construction of lasting and sustainable communities.
Our initiatives focus on revitalizing the community, based on direct interventions to get to know our expectations and be able to design our projects according to the needs. Our projects have been the result of an active collaboration with the community, national and international volunteers and donors with whom we work day by day to build a better country for all.
Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative: Habitat Colombia aims at developing a rural and urban construction model. We are committed to find innovative solutions as an alternative to the lack of infrastructure for Colombian families. These solutions allow us to contribute to environmental sustainability and hence ensure a better world for future generations.
We also have projects focused on empowering families in the acquisition of good practices that will enable them to improve their quality of life. We promote access to decent and affordable shelter, healthy habits and the participation of communities in their development.
Volunteerism: We have two types of volunteer work:
Corporate: We engage organizations and individuals to participate in specific projects that ensure resilient and sustainable shelter for vulnerable communities.
International: We invite people from across the world to participate in our projects through Habitat’s Global Village program or as individual volunteers, to help us build solidary communities.
Housing solutions: We focus on the following:
- New houses
- Home improvement
- Community development projects (schools, hospitals, community equipment, among others)
Meet a Habitat family
Tanasi and Lewis live with their three children in a house they share with two other families. Despite the house’s overcrowding conditions and the fact that it was built with provisional materials, Tanasi and Lewis have lived there for over eight years.
The family has tried to find better housing but, due to lack of resources, they have not been able to find a decent home for their children. Lewis works in a banana plantation and barely earns enough to cover the family’s current expenses.
In partnership with Habitat for Humanity, this family was able to move to one of Habitat Colombia’s houses with innovative technology and materials that would be more resilient if a natural disaster strikes. However, moving to a house with these characteristics was a real challenge. Tanasi explains: “At the beginning I was a bit afraid because I thought the house was going to be built with zinc sheets and that soon I was not going to have a place to live, because an earthquake or any natural disaster would bring it down.” Nevertheless, after training and counseling, they could feel assured and secure with the characteristics of the house.
“I feel very happy and motivated because we finally fulfilled a dream we had for many years, which is giving our children a better home, with cleaner spaces where they can play peacefully,” Tanasi said.
What can you do?
We build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. You can help us do it with the following actions:
If you wish to donate please use the following link:
Join one of the Global Village trips or organize your own brigade with relatives and friends. For more information, visit: habitat.org/gv/catalog/lac
If you would like to learn more about our programs, contact us:
Maria Carolina Botero