1. What is Habitat for Humanity International?
Habitat for Humanity International is a global, non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to ending substandard housing and homelessness worldwide. Founded in 1976 by late Millard Fuller, HFHI works with people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses in partnership with families in need. Its operational headquarters are located in Americus, Georgia, USA.
2. What is Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh?
Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh is a branch of HFH International that was established in 1999 in Mymensingh, and has since increased its services to six locations around the country. It works in mainly rural programs involving new home constructions, renovations, repairs, disaster response and mitigation, training on water, sanitation and hygiene practices and appropriate construction technology, as well as innovative research on alternative low-cost housing solutions. The organization’s aim is to break the cycle of poverty that comes with poorly-constructed homes in Bangladesh. HFH Bangladesh conducts its activities through its National Office, Habitat Resource Centers (HRCs),volunteers and in partnership with other non government organizations (NGOs) and community based organizations (CBOs).
3. What is the role of the National Office?
Habitat’s work in a country is coordinated and supported by a national Habitat office, staffed by experts in construction technology, financial management, marketing, volunteer management and fundraising. In Bangladesh, Habitat operates under its National Office in collaboration with six HRC offices.
4. What is the role of a Habitat Resource Center?
A Habitat Resource Center (HRC) broadens the reach of Habitat’s home-building programs. An HRC may be a physical structure or a network of specialists offering support and resources. Centers provides expertise in one or more of such areas as project and construction management; research on appropriate technology including the production of cost effective, high-quality building materials, and providing construction skills training to local people. They also respond to disasters. HRCs provide services to partner organizations as well as Habitat home partners and communities. HRCs focus on identifying local housing needs, mobilizing resources to deliver housing solutions, raising awareness, providing training to communities and hosting volunteer builds.
5. How does Habitat for Humanity help people in need of decent, affordable housing?
People all over the world partner with Habitat to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 9.8 million people in over 70 countries around the world.
6. Where does Habitat operate in the Asia-Pacific region?
Habitat for Humanity began working in the Asia-Pacific region in 1983 with a pilot program in India. Habitat currently has operations in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. In Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong, Habitat is involved in fundraising, advocacy and organizing volunteers, along with some limited local repair and home improvement activities.
7. How does Habitat’s “No Profit” housing partnership work with homeowners?
Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of homeowner (or known as ‘partner’) families, volunteer labor and donations of money and materials. Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh houses are free. Home partners also invest their own labor known as “sweat equity” to construct their homes. In some areas Habitat works directly with the families to provide financial and technical support for housing. In other areas Habitat works through local NGOs or Community Organizations.
8. Do you have to be a Christian to be a Habitat homeowner?
Habitat works with people of all faiths and no faith. Homeowners are selected based on their level of need and their willingness to work in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Habitat follows a non-discriminatory policy of family selection. Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing families to become Habitat homeowners.
9. How are partner families selected?
Families in need of decent shelter apply through Habitat’s local HRC offices or partner organizations. Habitat selects homeowners based on their need for adequate housing.
10. How much does a Habitat house cost in Bangladesh?
In Bangladesh, the total cost of delivering a basic new core home is around USD$2,000. In addition to building new homes, Habitat also offers home improvement options to serve families in need of renovations to their existing structures.
11. Does Habitat for Humanity respond to disasters?
Habitat for Humanity has been responding to disasters since 1998. Our Pathways to Permanence strategy allows us to guide individuals and families through the necessary steps in taking back more control of their living situation following a disaster, including erecting an emergency shelter, accessing or affirming land rights, improving a transitional shelter solution, defining next steps for a disaster damaged house or expanding a new housing solution. In Bangladesh, Habitat has responded to disasters such as Cyclone Roanu (2016), Cyclone Mora (2017) and Cyclone Sidr (2007).