Rapid urbanisation and the high cost of land and building materials means low-income families often lack the resources to build safe homes.
As a result, many live in inadequate housing, characterised by a lack of access to basic services and utilities such as water, sanitation and electricity. Insecure land tenure, the threat of forced eviction, overcrowding and building inadequacies such as lack of light, ventilation and durability, are also common features of substandard housing.
Providing access to safe and decent housing is a pivotal part of Habitat for Humanity Australia’s work. Rebuilding and repairing inadequate housing provides the foundation that allows families to focus attention on other important advances that help break the cycle of poverty
Disaster Risk Reduction & Recovery
We partner with communities to identify vulnerabilities and enhance their capacity to adapt to risks so they can better withstand and prepare for disasters.
Over the last few decades, the world has witnessed a sharp increase in the frequency and severity of disasters. Unfortunately this trend is set to continue as a result of growing population pressures, unplanned urbanisation, climate change and environmental degradation.
Vulnerable communities in developing countries are disproportionately affected by disasters which leave people impacted even more prone to future shocks. When disasters strike, schools close, livelihoods are destroyed and community infrastructure is damaged.
Families living in poorly built, unsafe housing must also invest time and money to repair or rebuild, depleting their meagre savings and setting them back from moving out of poverty.
We partner with communities across the Asia and Pacific region to identify those vulnerable to disasters and increase local capacity to reduce disaster risks, and to better respond and recover from them. Reducing risks of disasters is a fundamental feature of Habitat for Humanity Australia’s work across the region, ensuring that any interventions are resilient and sustainable in high-risk disaster-prone areas.
When disaster strikes, we are also prepared to respond. After a disaster, we provide emergency relief, as well as ongoing recovery and rehabilitation programming. Our work is long term and focuses on building back better so that houses are more resilient to withstand future disasters.
Urban Programming & Advocacy
Our urban programming takes a community-driven approach to the planning and implementation of slum upgrading, addressing access to services, disaster risks, land tenure security and organising and empowering communities to advocate for the services they need.
Rapid migration from rural to urban centres creates a need for over 25,000 new dwellings a day. Two-thirds of these are needed for low-income earners, along with an additional 250 km of roads, associated basic services and over 65,000 new jobs.
This housing shortage contributes to growing informal slum settlements worldwide. As these numbers continue to increase, governments are unable to keep up with the demand for land, housing and essential services. As a result, slum dwellers often end up paying more for less reliable and lower quality amenities from private suppliers, and living on marginal land which is more vulnerable to natural hazards such as flooding.
Without any formal ownership over the land on which they live or ability to access formal financing, poor families struggle to invest in long-term improvements to their homes and find themselves stuck in a cycle of poverty.
Habitat for Humanity Australia’s urban programming takes a community-driven approach to the planning and implementation of slum upgrading, addressing access to services, disaster risks, land tenure security and organising and empowering communities to advocate for the services they need.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
Our work supports communities to improve their water and sanitation facilities and empowers them to improve their water, sanitation and hygiene behaviours. The result is healthier and stronger communities and brighter futures.
According to the World Health Organisation, 785 million globally live without access to clean water. Millions of people including children die every year from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene. This is why clean water and sanitation is one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 6) and Habitat for Humanity Australia works towards achieving it.
Access to clean water and sanitation reduces instances of illness andsaves households time and money. The result is healthier and stronger communities and brighter futures.
We work in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, Fiji, Nepal and Vietnam supporting communities to access improved water and sanitation. This includes construction of new or improved water supply facilities such as wells, water tanks and water treatment systems, as well as sanitation facilities such as drainage, toilets/latrines and bathing/hand-washing facilities. These types of physical interventions are delivered in conjunction with working with families, communities and schoolchildren with the aim of changing behaviours for improved management of water resources and hygienic practices. One our largest WASH programs we support is Water for Women in Fiji.
Water for Women Fiji
Since 2018, Habitat for Humanity Australia and Habitat for Humanity Fiji has been implementing the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) Water for Women project to deliver a participatory and socially inclusive community project in Fiji. The project is addressing core water, sanitation and hygiene needs of people in 18 targeted rural Fijian communities. This includes women and girls, people with disabilities and people from the LGBTIQ+ community.