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Habitat for Humanity International

Ray’s experiences as a child evacuee during WWII left him with a great appreciation for the need for a real HOME of your own. He feels proud and privileged to have the ability and opportunity to support Habitat for Humanity.

We are actively working with Habitat for Humanity International donating a portion of the proceeds of all book sales to HFHI. On a more personal level, Ray has helped [and continues to] raise funds and awareness for local Habitat chapters with VIP Receptions, Author Meet and Greet events and Book Signings specifically to raise funds and awareness for each specific chapter.

www.habitat.org

Housing facts

  • About 1.1 billion people are living in inadequate housing conditions in urban areas alone (United Nations Centre for Human Settlements)
  • In cities of the developing world, one in four households lives in poverty
  • Forty percent of African urban households are living below the locally defined poverty line
  • An estimated 21 million new housing units are required each year, in developing countries, to accommodate growth in the number of households between 2000 and 2010. 14 million additional units would be required each year for the next 20 years if the current housing deficit is to be replaced by 2020 (UNHCS)
  • About 100 million people worldwide are homeless. (UNHCS)

..In the face of overwhelming costs

  • 1.2 billion people worldwide experience “income poverty,” meaning they live on the equivalent of less than US$1 per day (World Bank)
  • In Latin America, households need 5.4 times their annual income to buy a house. In Africa, they need an average of 12.5 times their annual income
  • The highest rents are found in the Arab States where a household spends an average of 45 percent of its monthly income on rent
  • Real estate costs are highest in Asia and the Pacific where one square meter of land for a serviced plot costs an average of US $3.10.

What do we mean by “inadequate housing”?

  • * Worldwide, 1.3 billion people lack access to clean water (Global Issues)
  • 2.6 billion people lack access to sanitation (UNICEF)
  • Less than 20 percent of households in Africa are connected to piped water, and only 40 percent have piped water within 200 meters of their home
  • In the developing world, 29 percent of cities have areas considered as “inaccessible” or “dangerous” to the police. In Latin America and the Caribbean, this figure is 48 percent
  • Less than 35 percent of cities in the developing world have their wastewater treated
  • In countries with economies in transition, 75 percent of solid wastes are disposed of in open dumps (UNHCS)

These conditions wreck lives

  • About 11 million children under age 5 die each year from preventable diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria and measles (UNHCS)
  • More than 110 million children of school age are not in school (UNHCS)
  • Nearly 1 billion people are illiterate (UNHCS)

What are Habitat for Humanity houses like?

A great place to live No matter where they are built around the world, Habitat for Humanity homes are constructed according to the same guiding principles.

Habitat for Humanity houses are:

  • Simple – the houses are modestly sized; large enough for the homeowner family’s needs, but small enough to keep construction and maintenance costs to a minimum.
  • Decent – we use quality building materials. Trained staff supervise construction and educate volunteers and partner families.
  • Appropriate – affiliates source building materials locally, and house designs reflect the local climate and culture.
  • Cost-effective – labour of volunteers and partner families, efficient building methods, modest house sizes and a no-profit, mortgage make it affordable for low-income people around the world to purchase a Habitat for Humanity home.

Designs that fit
From the tropical islands of the Philippines to the mountains of Peru, Habitat for Humanity builds houses designed for the local setting. Affiliates build with locally sourced materials, reducing costs and making it easier for homeowners to maintain their houses. For example:

  • Houses in many African countries are constructed with fired clay bricks, with tile roofs made of cement or fired clay.
  • Houses in Latin America are often built with concrete block or adobe walls with metal roofs.
  • Houses in the Pacific are often built with wood frames and constructed on stilts.
  • Building resistance to earthquakes in Guatemala

Adapted to users
People in different countries use their houses in different ways. Habitat for Humanity’s house designs reflect these cultural considerations. Some examples:

  • Families in many African countries cook meals outdoors – in these countries, house plans call for a kitchen area outside rather than inside the house.
  • In the Philippines, families traditionally do laundry and other chores on a small outdoor utility porch, so Filipino Habitat for Humanity house designs reflect this custom.

HFH’s Environmental Intiative
Habitat for Humanity is committed to resource- and energy-efficient building practices. Habitat for Humanity’s Environmental Initiative teaches affiliate staff and volunteers to use sustainable construction techniques which conserve natural resources and reduce long-term costs for Habitat for Humanity homeowners.

Join the conversation, tell us what you think!