Individuals served in FY20: 19,810
- Through new construction –355
- Through incremental building –3,220
- Through professional services –16,065
- Through market development –170
Volunteers hosted in FY20: 614
- Population: Over 102 million
- Life expectancy: 75.25 years
- Unemployment rate: 3.11%
- Population living below poverty line: 8%
Source: World Factbook
Habitat for Humanity in Vietnam
Habitat for Humanity began working in Vietnam in January 2001 with its first project in Da Nang City in the central coastal region. As of January 2019, Habitat has enabled more than 14,800 low-income Vietnamese families to improve their living conditions through decent homes, clean water and safe sanitation. Habitat Vietnam has also provided training in areas such as disaster preparedness, financial education, and hygiene practices to nearly 123,000 individuals.
The housing needs in Vietnam
Vietnam has lifted more than 45 million people out of poverty since the early 1990s thanks to rapid economic growth and political reforms. The poverty rate fell sharply to below 6% with most of the poor being ethnic minorities. Almost three in four ethnic minority households lack access to safe sanitation while a quarter of them do not have adequate housing and clean water.
The pressing need for resilient housing models is widely recognized as Vietnam becomes a climate change hotspot. In 2020, 270,000 homes were inundated and 37,500 houses damaged due to floods in central Vietnam. The government has estimated that about 30 million Vietnamese—including many who are poverty-stricken —will be living in disaster-prone areas by 2025.
How Habitat addresses the need in Vietnam
Habitat Vietnam partners with low-income families to build, repair or upgrade their homes with families contributing “sweat equity” or their own labor, and typically repaying the costs through microfinance loans. International volunteers provide a hand-up by building alongside the families. Habitat also enables families to build facilities for clean water and safe sanitation based on their needs. The partner organizations that Habitat works with include the local government and communities. The training that Habitat offers to its partners includes appropriate construction technology, financial management, awareness and practice of proper hygiene, community-based disaster risk management.
Inclusive housing and human settlements
Habitat Vietnam focuses on providing housing solutions, water and sanitation access and waste management for marginalized people and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities and vulnerable people living in disaster-prone areas such as those affected by the Agent Orange herbicides.
While its microfinance institutional partners provide housing microfinance loans, Habitat Vietnam supports families through construction technical expertise. Habitat also builds the capacity of smaller local actors such as community housing funds and social funds by leveraging its revolving fund.
Safe and resilient communities
Through training in the Participatory Approach for Safe Shelter Awareness, Habitat Vietnam engages local authorities, disaster risk management boards and communities in protecting lives and assets. Habitat also shares customized housing solutions to build back safer with local masons and communities.
Advocacy in public and people sectors
Habitat supports the Government of Vietnam’s program in eliminating asbestos through its advocacy efforts. It calls for the government to contribute to housing interventions and water, sanitation and hygiene programs. Habitat Vietnam also advocates that national policy makers standardize technical guidance in government housing support programs.