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Resilient Housing for Resilient Families

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To learn more about – or provide significant funding to – this project, please contact Lever for Change.

Project Summary

Earthquakes hit without warning, and because of climate change, hurricanes and typhoons are becoming stronger and more frequent. Yet, global housing indicators are sliding backwards. 3 billion people will be living in substandard housing by 2030. It’s not the earthquake or windstorm that kills people, it’s the collapse of a poorly built building. This is a man-made problem with a women-made solution. A $100M, 5-year 100&Change Project for Resilient Housing will enable us to drive transformational innovation, political will and an additional $4B in capital towards the urgent strengthening of 1.2M homes, at a cost of $17 per safer person. We can protect 6M lives and $24B in assets, demonstrating a systems solution in four countries, and producing a model for others to follow.To upgrade homes from vulnerable to resilient is to provide the launch pad for strong and prosperous communities and protect people’s most precious investment: their families.

Problem Statement

Oramene’s house partially collapsed during the 2010 Haiti earthquake, forcing her family to live in a tent camp. She could no longer run her sewing business so there was no income to repair their home. She thought she would die there.In the Philippines, Eric’s roof blew off in a typhoon, leaving his family exposed to rain and flying debris. Everyone survived, but Eric’s paycheck wasn’t enough to build a safer roof AND keep his kids in school.Maria fled her town to escape civil unrest, only to settle in a violence-ridden, earthquake-prone neighborhood in Bogota. She worried a burglar would climb in her partially-completed house.Oramene, Eric and Maria’s stories are typical of the millions of people living in substandard, disaster-vulnerable houses worldwide. Build Change:--supports homeowners like Oramene to strengthen her home (and get back to work) at a fraction of the cost of rebuilding, --provides financial solutions for homeowners like Eric, who strengthened his home and built an additional room for rental income, --made retrofitting politically viable after decades of inaction, helping homeowners like Maria own a disaster-resistant, secure home.Build Change leverages public and private sector partnerships to overcome barriers to adoption: Money-Technology-People. Highly leveraged philanthropy is needed to provide key support in areas that local stakeholders will not invest – scaling funding mechanisms, technical assistance, simplifying policies and processes. Otherwise, we will keep trying to fix the problem using the same broken system that has encouraged unsafe, informal construction, instead of reducing it.

Solution Overview

$100M for Resilient Housing will improve 1.2 million housing units, affecting 6M people, at a cost of $17 per safer person. The program will protect $24B in assets, urgently reversing the trend of substandard housing, starting in Colombia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Guatemala. Resilient Housing will not only protect lives and assets in disaster, but also improve the daily lives of vulnerable families. A homeowner in Bogota said her house was “like a swimming pool” before we strengthened it for earthquakes, and simultaneously fixed her leaky roof.The $100M will leverage $4B in direct investment by others for the materials and labor for retrofitting, including city and national governments, the World Bank, housing finance institutions, and homeowners. $100M is only 2% of total project costs!We will know we are making progress when we:--Facilitate and leverage investment in resilient housing from governments, lenders, and the World Bank, through the Global Program for Resilient Housing co-launched with Build Change last October; --Scale up proven solutions in Colombia and Philippines: provide missing systems for President Duque’s Casa Digna program; continue co-creating, marketing, automating and scaling Resilient Housing loan products; provide access to wholesale finance and launch $10M Resilient Housing loan fund;--Optimize building regulations, streamline building permits, and automate systems--Deploy local resilience workers, and oversee and mentor builders and building materials producers--Replicate in Guatemala and Indonesia--Operationalize public/private model for others to adopt.

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Project Funders

  • Risk Management Solutions
  • Skoll Foundation
  • World Bank Group

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