Having your own home is one of the greatest drivers of social equity. It prevents you from being stuck in a cycle of poverty. However, with continuously rising housing prices, the risk of homelessness for some families also increases. Renting is also becoming more costly. This is why some construction firms are venturing into more affordable housing, not just to make the best out of the existing market, but to likewise help address the growing necessity for social housing.

Social Housing ProjectBut due to their commercial needs, most construction companies cannot do it alone. These companies usually partner with non-profit organizations, humanitarian groups, and charities. For instance, ENM Construction Management in Vancouver, led by their project manager Daniel Greenhalgh, partnered with international housing charity Habitat for Humanity in building housing units for low-income people.
ENM is just one of the companies that collaborate with a charity to make low-cost housing possible. Charities play a huge part in the success and effectiveness of social housing projects. Their contribution is not just limited to looking for and coordinating with project stakeholders. These groups also conduct other complementary activities that helps sustain the projects.

How do charities sustain social housing projects?

Here are some of the initiatives they conduct which exhibit the valuable role of charities in social housing.

  • Microfinancing
  • Some organizations allow their lessees to pay the initial downpayment through microfinance. Microfinance is a financial service commonly offered to unemployed or low-income people. It is more convenient and a lot lighter for many individuals since it has short payment periods and requires small or no collateral.

  • Providing health, job, and finance
  • Charities provide training and seminar to make sure that families will be well-settled in their locations, having their own source of income and the ability to live a healthy and secured life on their own. They also conduct financial education classes covering topics like budgeting, investments, debt and loans, and saving which help equip renters to better manage their finances as well as their homes.

  • Instilling a sense of responsibility
  • Several housing organizations offer sweat equity for its lessees. They encourage potential renters to commit time and effort in building their own homes, not as a payment, but as an opportunity to work with others, thus building a community. It also helps people to gain a sense of ownership on their home.

  • Advocacy
  • Non-profit institutions also lobby with governments across the world to prioritize development of affordable social housing for their citizens. Such initiatives result to reforms on budget allocation and policy to accommodate the dire need for cheap rentals.

    Other organizations likewise conduct public campaigns, which, on the other hand, aim to gain supports from individuals and business organizations. Such initiatives usually result to increasing number of volunteers willing to spend their time building other people’s homes and institutional partners that contribute largely on the financial and technical aspect of building.

As more and more construction companies find the desire to help in solving housing problems in different parts of the world, charities and non-profit organizations are viable partners. They are mere receivers of assistance, but charities have a great role in social housing, ensuring sustainability, not just of the projects, but more importantly, the lives of the stakeholders.