301 Assorti Shinjuku 5
5-11-25 Shinjuku Shinjuku-ku

WebsiteA wireframe globe www.habitatjp.org/en
PhoneA smartphone +81  3-6709-8780

Quick Facts

Volunteers engaged in FY22: 549

Other facts:

  • Capital: Tokyo
  • Population: 125.6 million
  • Life expectancy: 84 years
  • Unemployment rate: 2.8 percent

Source: World Bank

Habitat for Humanity in Japan

Habitat for Humanity International opened an office in Japan in 2001 to handle the increasing number of Global Village volunteers from Japan and to provide guidance to several campus chapters that had been formed. In November 2003, Habitat for Humanity Japan was officially registered as a non-profit organization. Habitat Japan has continually mobilized volunteers under the Global Village program. In the financial year ended June 30, 2018, a record number of 1,430 GV volunteers from Japan were sent on various Habitat builds including the first team to Africa. With the launch of the Project HomeWorks program in Japan in April 2017, Habitat’s volunteers help to improve the living conditions of older people and people with disabilities.

The housing need in Japan

Japan has one of the world’s highest proportion of people aged 65 or older. Official data showed there are 22.6 million households with these older people. Among them, 6.72 million households comprise older adults living alone.

Older adults comprised 2.76% of the people who receive welfare benefits, higher than the national average of 1.67%. Due to its shrinking population, Japan will likely see an excess supply of 10 million dwelling units in 2023. Yet there are vulnerable groups such as older people, individuals with disabilities, single-parent households, and those with unstable livelihoods who face greater difficulties in accessing low-cost rental housing due to landlords’ reluctance to rent to them.

Habitat for Humanity Japan responds to the housing needs in the country by expanding our partnerships with donors and corporate volunteers. Since 2003, we have engaged more than 21,000 volunteers to help improve homes and living conditions.

How Habitat addresses the need in Japan

International volunteer builds

Through Habitat’s Global Village program, teams of volunteers from Japan build homes with families in the Asia-Pacific region and other parts of the world. After a hiatus of almost three years due to the pandemic, Global Village’s regional builds have started in select Asia-Pacific locations since February 2023. Two months after the resumption, more than 270 Japanese youths have worked on homes in Cambodia and Vietnam.

Facility repairs

The pandemic has changed the perception of a home to be more than a place to sleep. When COVID-19 struck, Habitat Japan started repairing orphanages, shelters, community centers and other facilities to improve the living environments. Our work supports vulnerable people in having a safe and decent place to live while they receive services.

In fiscal years 2021 and 2022, Habitat completed repairs for a total of 11 facilities.

Project HomeWorks

Launched in April 2017, Project HomeWorks mobilizes local volunteers to improve the living conditions of vulnerable groups, particularly older people and those with disabilities. Volunteers help to clean their homes and make simple repairs. Habitat Japan also offers counsel and support to vulnerable households in need of affordable homes. Since the launch of the project, Habitat Japan has mobilized more than 940 volunteers to help over 390 households have a place where they can call home.

Youth engagement

Habitat Japan has nearly two decades of experience engaging youth volunteers. There are now 40 campus chapters with 3,000 young people supporting our work. Students advocate and raise funds as well as volunteer with Habitat locally and overseas. Campus chapter members are also strong supporters of the Habitat Young Leaders Build campaign that rallies young people to build, raise funds and speak out for the need for decent homes.

Stories and news

Asia and Pacific Builds 2019

March 07, 2019

Key initiatives under the Habitat Young Leaders Build campaign, the builds in Myanmar and Fiji draw the support of more than 70 youth volunteers altogether.

Read more