Global Program for Resilient Housing

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Global Program for Resilient Housing

Mismatches Climate change
Policies and regulations Data and monitoring Evaluation and impact
Promotion and production Innovation

Main objectives of the project

In the past 25 years, disasters have taken 1.3 million lives, with poor households in weak housing hit hardest. The Global Program for Resilient Housing identifies at-risk homes using technology and machine learning, facilitating retrofits through subsidies and private investment. This strategy helps governments save lives, protect investments, and strengthen economies by making housing more resilient to natural hazards.

Date

  • 2022: Implementation

Stakeholders

  • World Bank

Location

Country/Region:

Description

Over the past 25 years, natural disasters have claimed 1.3 million lives and caused extensive damage globally. From earthquakes in Latin America to cyclones in Southeast Asia, these events can strike any country, disproportionately affecting families in substandard housing.

The frequency, severity, and fatality of these disasters are increasing, particularly impacting the poor. Substandard housing with weak construction is especially vulnerable, leading to walls collapsing, roofs being torn off, and structures failing. The World Bank’s Unbreakable report highlights that the impacts of disasters and climate change are over twice as severe for poor households compared to others, as they often reside in the most vulnerable areas with weak housing standards and limited access to credit or insurance.

Enhancing the safety and resilience of housing can protect lives and livelihoods, contributing to sustainable communities. According to the World Bank’s Lifelines report, investing in resilient infrastructure in developing countries yields a net benefit of $4.2 trillion over the lifetime of new infrastructure, with a $4 return for every $1 invested. However, creating a comprehensive strategy for resilient housing presents significant technological and policy challenges.

The Global Program for Resilient Housing has developed a methodology to predict which houses are at the highest risk from natural hazards, identify which can be made safe in time, and connect them with government subsidies and private capital.

As housing resilience becomes a central part of strategies for governments and development institutions, the Global Program for Resilient Housing can help countries and cities secure economic investment, support local construction industries, spare communities from disaster trauma, and most importantly, save lives, all at a fraction of the cost and time.

The process involves five steps:

Step 1: Neighborhoods and houses in cities and communities are mapped using advanced technologies such as drones, street cameras, and machine learning algorithms.

Step 2: Engineers use machine learning to train computers to extract critical information—such as building materials, height, window count, and garage door openings—from images of the mapped areas. This information helps identify potentially vulnerable structures at risk of endangering families.

Step 3: The data is aggregated into a one-stop housing portal containing actionable knowledge for designing and implementing housing plans and activating construction, credit, and insurance markets. The Program team identifies areas of greatest risk, homes needing relocation, houses requiring detailed study, and structures suitable for cost-effective retrofitting.

Step 4: With actionable knowledge, policymakers can design housing subsidy programs to connect affected families with local construction or financial institutions or leverage World Bank loans to maximize finance for resilient housing. Retrofitting supports small and medium-sized construction and financial companies and offers families affordable alternatives to unsafe homes or relocating to unfamiliar areas. The Program adapts international best practices to local contexts to avoid common pitfalls.

Step 5: The Program team supports governments in promoting resilient housing to save lives, protect assets, and shield economies from increasing disaster risks.

Resilient housing offers a way to protect homes from natural hazards. The Program helps quantify the benefits of resilient housing, conducts rapid economic analyses to justify investments, and collaborates with countries, banks, and financial institutions to develop home improvement subsidy policies based on best practices.

This approach appeals to both housing ministers, who respond to disasters, and finance ministers, who fund reconstruction. They recognize that every dollar invested in strengthening infrastructure beforehand can save $10 in reconstruction costs. The program promotes home improvement initiatives that make resilience a central strategy.

Resilient housing safeguards family investments, which is crucial given that up to 90% of a family's life savings are typically invested in their home.

Zuhause Ankommen, combatting homelessness in response to the covid-19 pandemic

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Zuhause Ankommen, combatting homelessness in response to the covid-19 pandemic

Mismatches Vulnerable groups Pandemics
Policies and regulations National policies Evaluation and impact
Promotion and production Public-private partnerships

Main objectives of the project

Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, addressing immediate needs and enacting lasting solutions to societal challenges can be concurrent endeavors. 'Zuhause ankommen'—German for 'arriving home'—addresses the exacerbated housing issues during the pandemic while concurrently implementing a sustainable strategy to eradicate homelessness. From May 2021 to April 2022, the initiative allocated 240 apartments to accommodate 600 individuals lacking access to affordable housing across five regions in Austria. Financed by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care, and Consumer Protection with €2.65 million, the project primarily targeted those severely impacted by the socio-economic consequences of Covid-19 measures, notably homeless individuals and those at risk of homelessness. 'Zuhause ankommen' establishes a diverse coalition of stakeholders committed to effectively addressing the complex issue of homelessness in a sustainable manner. By amplifying the Housing First approach to a national scale, the project currently operates through a supra-regional strategy with the objective of raising awareness about homelessness and providing tangible solutions.

Date

  • 2021: Implementation

Stakeholders

  • GBV
  • BAWO
  • ustrian Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care, and Consumer Protection

Location

Continent: Europe
Country/Region: Austria

Description

The COVID-19 was a tough blow for the most vulnerable people. Despite the adminsitriave efforts, in many countries there was a rise in homelessness. This was also the risk in Austria. While subsidies on rent were provided by the Austrian government in 2020, experts including BAWO, the Austrian National Platform of Social Services Provided for the Homeless predicted a rise in poverty, evictions, and homelessness during the pandemic. On the other hand, limited-profit housing associations play a crucial role in fostering housing inclusion through affordable rents and their social mandate. Nonetheless, within this segment, the most vulnerable groups encounter structural challenges, particularly concerning upfront contributions from potential tenants, often unaffordable for those near or below the poverty line. So, there was a threat that they could not able to provide the needed help during the pandemic.

"Zuhause Ankommen" wanted to prevend all this. It serves as a model, addressing both immediate pandemic-induced homelessness and long-term homelessness. This initiative integrates the Austrian limited-profit housing sector, represented by GBV, with the social service sector, represented by BAWO. Collaborating member organizations allocate flats and offer social care, with project expenses funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care, and Consumer Protection.

The project budget covers tenants' upfront contributions, moving expenses, and professional social support, facilitating access for those affected by poverty. Moreover, social organizations assist with home matching and provide support upon arrival, promoting self-sufficiency and independence. The project, closely monitored for fair access regarding age and gender, has allocated 240 flats to people affected by poverty and homelessness. Its success has led to more housing associations joining, furthering the adoption of the Housing First principle to end homelessness sustainably and promote reintegration. Presently, 38 housing associations participate.

Tenants and landlords benefit from tools developed in collaboration with social service organizations, ensuring stable tenancies. "Zuhause Ankommen" offers evidence of innovative housing solutions across Austrian regions, catering to diverse needs in rural and urban areas. Employing Housing First as an innovative method within homeless services, the initiative prioritizes housing as a starting point, offering stability to the most vulnerable.

The strategic communication of the project seek to change how the public views homelessness and the innovative solutions offered by "zuhause ankommen." Utilizing various channels such as social media, digital platforms, print media, and press coverage, the project's achievements and core messages are disseminated to stakeholders, interest groups, policymakers, and the general public.

The project's participatory approach focuses on matching suitable and affordable housing with potential tenants, fostering social inclusion, mixed communities, and stable tenancies. An evaluation process involving workshops and interviews with stakeholders and beneficiaries ensures ongoing improvement, with results informing future efforts against homelessness. By building knowledge and trust between the limited-profit housing sector and the social service sector, "Zuhause Ankommen" exemplifies a strategic, sustainable strategy to combat homelessness, earning recognition such as the European Responsible Housing Award 2022.

OECD Affordable Housing Database

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OECD Affordable Housing Database

Policies and regulations Data and monitoring Evaluation and impact

Main objectives of the project

The OECD Affordable Housing Database (AHD) provides comprehensive insights into affordable housing across member countries, EU states, and key partners. Organized into three dimensions—housing market, conditions, and public policies—the AHD enables easy comparison of indicators like stock, prices, homelessness rates, and policy measures. This robust dataset aids policymakers in evaluating and improving access to affordable housing globally.

Date

Stakeholders

  • OECD

Location

Country/Region:

Description

The OECD stands out as one of the largest international organizations globally, championing growth and development and representing some of the world's most significant economies. Beyond its economic role, the OECD serves as a leading authority on policy analysis and data. Recognizing housing as a top priority for its members, the OECD has been advocating for a more comprehensive analysis of affordable housing realities.

In response to this need, the OECD Affordable Housing Database (AHD) was established. This database serves the dual purpose of enabling countries to monitor access to high-quality, affordable housing and enhancing the knowledge base for policy evaluation. It aggregates cross-national information from OECD countries, Key Partners, and EU member states.

The AHD organizes indicators across three main dimensions: housing market, housing conditions and affordability, and public policies related to affordable housing. Under the housing market dimension, indicators cover aspects such as housing stock, prices, and tenure distribution. The housing conditions dimension encompasses metrics ranging from overburden rates to the ability to maintain adequate warmth in housing, along with statistics on homelessness. The third dimension, public policies, focuses on variables such as the provision of social housing, subsidies, and regulatory frameworks.

Each indicator within the database offers data, relevant definitions, methodologies, and key findings. This structured approach allows for easy comparison of different countries and their respective affordable housing situations. Furthermore, the indicators address issues of comparability, data reliability, and may include raw data or descriptive information across countries.

In summary, the OECD Affordable Housing Database offers a reliable and comprehensive dataset on affordability within the world's most influential economies, facilitating informed policy decisions and international comparisons.

HACT Social Value Bank

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HACT Social Value Bank

Policies and regulations Governance Data and monitoring Evaluation and impact
Financing

Main objectives of the project

HACT, a UK charity, partners with housing sector organizations to enhance community benefits through innovative products and services. Central to their approach is the "Social Value Bank," aiding social housing providers in assessing their social return. The Teviot Estate redevelopment exemplifies this approach, with contractors committing to specific outcomes aligned with resident priorities. This groundbreaking methodology integrates social value throughout the regeneration process, ensuring meaningful impact.

Date

  • 2020: Implementation

Stakeholders

  • HACT

Location

Continent: Europe
Country/Region: United Kingdom

Description

HACT, a charity organization based in the UK, collaborates with various entities in the housing sector to drive benefits for residents and communities by offering insight-driven products and services that promote innovation and foster collaboration. One of its notable features is the "Social Value Bank," which aids social housing providers in calculating their social return. This bank comprises 88 outcomes, each with a defined financial metric incorporating wellbeing, health, and potential savings to the state. This lab can show any particular stakeholder the evolution on the social return of a specific project.

The outcomes are developed using a consistent methodology, drawing from over eight years of research and national data surveys. They are based on person-centered principles, utilizing data on self-reported wellbeing and life circumstances to measure actual experiences. The process involves setting up projects, selecting outcomes, establishing targets and budgets, and then using the Social Value Bank calculator to model, monitor, and measure project impacts. Subsequently, meaningful reports can be generated to showcase the achieved impact.

This methodology was applied in the Teviot Estate redevelopment project. After extensive consultation with residents, four priority themes emerged: Community, Homes, Streets, and Parks. The aim was to generate £278 million in social return value. Contractors were required to commit to delivering specific outcomes during the tendering process, with commitments varying based on bid amounts. All partners involved in the project were expected to support social value outcomes from the outset, and contractors worked closely with the Teviot Social Value Manager to develop delivery plans and provide progress reports.

To enhance value for the local community, input from local stakeholders was sought to better understand community needs and services. Additionally, the Community Chest Fund provided grant funding to local groups and businesses contributing to the program's outcomes. This approach represents a groundbreaking use of social value in regeneration schemes, characterized by both the scale of the commitment and the comprehensive integration of social value throughout the regeneration plans, from contractors' commitments to the assurance process.

How (un)affordable?, Belgrade

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How (un)affordable?, Belgrade

Mismatches Location Price Functional adequacy Vulnerable groups
Policies and regulations Governance Data and monitoring Evaluation and impact Price control

Main objectives of the project

CMMM, a research project aimed at supporting civil society actors in fostering political transformation, employs critical mapping as a powerful tool to address housing affordability issues in Belgrade. Despite a high percentage of privately owned housing units, a significant portion of the population struggles to access affordable housing due to rising rents and inadequate government intervention. The interactive map, "How (un)affordable is housing in Belgrade?", provides insights into available housing units based on income and preferences, empowering the MoS movement to advocate for rent control legislation and highlighting the potential of data-driven activism in addressing societal challenges.

Date

  • 2023: Implementation

Stakeholders

  • CMMM
  • Ministry of Space

Location

Continent: Europe
Country/Region: Belgrade, Republic of Serbia

Description

CMMM, a practice-oriented research endeavor, was conceived to bolster civil society actors in their endeavors for equitable societies and cities through profound political transformation. Municipalist mobilizers, in their pursuit of altering power dynamics, constantly innovate instruments and mediums. The project prioritized critical mapping as it represents an "act of power," transcending mere theorization to present diverse perspectives on realities, fostering narrative and discourse shifts. Among our interactive maps focusing on housing in European cities, one spotlights Belgrade. Titled "How (un)affordable is housing in Belgrade?" this map aids visitors in grasping the magnitude of the housing issue. It draws from data scraping of housing rental and purchase offers in Belgrade, conducted by VI in May 2022 and again in March 2023. Designed for easy personalization and integration into social media campaigns, it serves as a tool for raising awareness on the topic.

Belgrade stands out for having a high percentage of privately owned housing units (over 95%), yet approximately 80% of its population struggles to access decent and affordable housing. Despite growing private investment in real estate, inadequate housing conditions and evictions due to tenant indebtedness are increasingly common, leaving many households without viable housing solutions. The prevailing approach to addressing housing needs is through the market, but rising rents outpace average incomes, limiting affordable options for most. The proliferation of short-lease rental units, facilitated by platforms like Airbnb, exacerbates the situation, pushing long-term renters into precarious positions with unregulated landlord relations. Over the past three decades, successive center and center-right governments have failed to address this reality or collect comprehensive data to understand the issue, let alone devise sustainable measures for improvement.

The Belgrade city team of CMMM, affiliated with the Ministry of Space (MoS) collective, has long been engaged in scrutinizing urban development dynamics and spatial injustices, with housing as a key focus. Their activities range from studying alternative affordable housing models to advocating for progressive housing solutions and participating in initiatives against forced evictions. Critical mapping, a ubiquitous tool in urban research and activism worldwide, has been integrated into their agenda, enabling the development of critical perspectives, research, and tools to challenge existing realities.

Through "How (un)affordable is housing in Belgrade?" individuals can compare available housing units based on their income and preferences, offering insights into affordability across different areas. This tool has been leveraged by the MoS movement to advocate for rent control legislation. Additionally, as part of the Belgrade project, CMMM has mapped the various stakeholders involved in proposed rent regulation and potential scenarios for its implementation. The approach taken by CMMM Belgrade exemplifies how data can empower social movements to mobilize for improvements in housing affordability, showcasing the potential for data-driven activism in addressing pressing societal issues.

Buy Back Berlin

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Buy Back Berlin

Policies and regulations Global frameworks Governance Data and monitoring Public-private initiatives Participatory processes
Ownership and tenure Rental and temporary tenure Protection of social housing

Main objectives of the project

CMMM, a research initiative focused on practical applications, was established to empower civil society actors in their efforts towards creating fairer societies and cities through significant political change. Municipalist mobilizers, dedicated to reshaping power dynamics, continually innovate tools and methods. Critical mapping was given precedence within the project as it represents an "act of power," moving beyond mere theoretical discourse to offer diverse perspectives on realities, catalyzing shifts in narratives and discourse. Among their interactive maps spotlighting housing in European cities, the "Buy Back Berlin!" map stands out. Utilizing acquired datasets and incorporating crowdsourcing options, it serves as an informative platform for civic initiatives striving to resist capitalist dispossession by advocating for the application of the right of preemption in Berlin.

Date

  • 2023: Implementation

Stakeholders

  • CMMM

Location

Continent: Europe
City: Berlin
Country/Region: Berlin, Germany

Description

Berlin, where approximately 85% of households are tenants, relies heavily on the availability and affordability of housing units for its residents' livelihoods. The city's socio-economic and spatial landscape, shaped by its division until 1989, fostered opportunities for self-realization due to ample spaces and affordable rents, alongside strong socio-cultural communities and initiatives. However, following reunification in 1990, neoliberal investments surged, facilitated by political agreements that favored neoliberalism and the sale of former East German assets. Consequently, state-owned housing decreased to about a third of its previous holdings despite population growth.

Over the past two decades, extensive mobilization by civic initiatives advocating for affordable housing rights has led to efforts by the city to reclaim lost housing stock. Nonetheless, large real estate firms and financialization persistently inflate purchase prices and rents, driving tenant displacement through gentrification. The "Buy Back Berlin" map aims to provide information on "Gemeinwohl" (common good) organizations in Berlin dedicated to acquiring, maintaining, or protecting affordable housing for tenants. It serves as a testament to ongoing efforts in the city's housing scene and a call to policymakers for transformative housing policies.

The map features sections for "Need Information," where individuals can ask to seek information about their landlords or supporting organizations; "Take Action," allowing tenants to assert their rights, showing their willingness to act and inform others; and "Offer Support," where organizations can register to assist those in need and contact those how want to act to maintain their houses. Hence, the map function as a link between stakeholders in the city to form coalitions between people in need, people willing to act and organizations who can support both of them. Additionally, the map displays the outcomes of the municipal right of preemption, an instrumental tool until a court ruling in November 2021, which allowed municipalities to intervene against hyper-commercialization in collaboration with tenants and socially responsible real estate companies. The right consists on being the first to be able to buy (at the same price) when there is a transaction of a landlord with a third party. This helped a lot to restore the public and affordable stock of housing in the city. Now, with a poster, CMMM is fighting to restore this right, showing what has achieved in the past with the map.

The Berlin map puts together a network of stakeholders to push for affordable housing. Moreover, helps to show the usefulness of old tools and fight for the need of restoring them. Thus, it shows how critical maps can foster new and old solutions to the housing crisis.

Alerta desnonaments: Anti-eviction map, Barcelona

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Alerta desnonaments: Anti-eviction map, Barcelona

Policies and regulations Data and monitoring Evaluation and impact Evictions Participatory processes

Main objectives of the project

CMMM, a research initiative focused on practical applications, was established to empower civil society actors in their efforts towards creating fairer societies and cities through significant political change. Municipalist mobilizers, dedicated to reshaping power dynamics, continually innovate tools and methods. Critical mapping was given precedence within the project as it represents an "act of power," moving beyond mere theoretical discourse to offer diverse perspectives on realities, catalyzing shifts in narratives and discourse. Among their interactive maps spotlighting housing in European cities, the “Stop Evictions” map stands out. Using the historical data about evictions in the city of Barcelona, it helps putting toghther people to avoid them in the future.

Date

  • 2023: Implementation

Stakeholders

  • Observatori DESC
  • CMMM

Location

Continent: Europe
City: Barcelona
Country/Region: Barcelona, Spain

Description

Barcelona has long been a vibrant, politically charged city, where various movements and organizations converge and emerge. Following the downfall of the Franco dictatorship, urban struggles have become integral to the city's fabric, notably gaining momentum around the time of the 1992 Olympics and subsequent developments. The 1990s witnessed significant economic liberalization and deregulation, with a diminishing governmental role to accommodate capitalist investors. However, the financial crisis of 2008, stemming from the United States, catalyzed a housing crisis in Barcelona, reshaping social interventions and becoming a prominent concern for citizens.

The reforms mandated by the European Financial Stabilization Mechanism, later transitioning into the European Stability Mechanism, precipitated a shift in the housing emergency from mass foreclosures linked to mortgage defaults to a rental crisis between 2013 and 2015. Presently, approximately 40% of Barcelona's population are renters, far exceeding the Spanish average of 25%, exacerbating issues of affordability. Housing policies in Spain lag behind much of Europe, characterized by deteriorating buildings, particularly in the historic district due to intentional neglect. Moreover, soaring prices relative to income, scant social housing provision at only 1.6% of the total stock, and minimal tenant protections underscore the severity of the situation. The city's status as a premier European tourist destination further compounds the housing crisis, driving up demand for lodging and threatening locals' access to housing and a non-commercialized neighborhood life.

The CMMM Barcelona team is affiliated with Observatori DESC, a hybrid human rights organization fostering collaboration between urban social movements, the city administration, and academia, focuses on advocating for progressive laws and policies. Within their scope of work on the right to the city, Observatori DESC prioritizes ensuring the social use of housing as a prerequisite for dignified living. Their advocacy encompasses initiatives to increase public and affordable housing, implement innovative, rights-based social policies to combat evictions, and address abuses by large landlords, such as expulsions and harassment. At the legislative and judicial levels, efforts are concentrated on curbing exorbitant housing costs through measures like rent controls and outlawing entities like Desokupa, which employ intimidation tactics during evictions.

In the context of the CMMM project, Observatori DESC collaborated with housing organizations and movements to explore the application of critical mapping in documenting, mobilizing, and advocating for changes in housing discourses. Specifically, they investigated methods to delineate and document eviction occurrences and organize resistance against them. The "Stop Eviction" maps provide crucial insights. Firstly, they detail interventions by civil society anti-eviction organizations during evictions between 2016 and 2022, identifying involved property owners and outcomes. This sheds light on the principal actors in eviction processes and organizational resistance efforts. Secondly, impending evictions are mapped out, empowering individuals to preemptively act against them.

Both maps serve as invaluable tools in addressing Barcelona's housing crisis, offering insights into landlord behaviors and guiding efforts to support tenants. They facilitate a better understanding of eviction dynamics and avenues for community engagement.

Terner labs

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Terner labs

Mismatches
Policies and regulations Governance Data and monitoring Evaluation and impact
Urban Design

Main objectives of the project

Terner Labs, affiliated with UC Berkeley's Terner Center for Housing Innovation, utilize data, transparent methodologies, and innovative approaches. Their aim is to support policymakers in devising more effective solutions to California's housing crisis.

Date

  • 2019: Implementation

Stakeholders

  • Terner Center

Location

Continent: North America
Country/Region: San Jose, United States of America

Description

In response to California's significant housing crisis, UC Berkeley established the Terner Labs as part of the Terner Center, aiming to tackle the issue head-on. The mission of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation is to develop innovative strategies to provide affordable housing for families from diverse backgrounds in sustainable and vibrant communities. Founded in 2015, the Terner Center has swiftly emerged as a leading advocate for identifying and advancing solutions to the nation's most challenging housing issues.

The Terner Labs, the main innovative arm of the center, comprises three distinct labs. The oldest among them is the Housing Venture Lab, established in 2019. This lab serves as an accelerator, offering comprehensive support to entrepreneurs with fresh and bold ideas aimed at enhancing the accessibility, equity, and sustainability of housing. Through the lab, entrepreneurs gain access to a network of leading figures in construction, policymaking, nonprofits, and entrepreneurship on a national scale. Moreover, they receive guidance from experienced professionals and strategic partners to chart a course for substantial impact. Then, they can test the ideas and analyze how they work.

The Data Solutions Lab focuses on developing data-driven tools for housing and land use modeling, enabling policymakers, researchers, and advocates to make well-informed decisions regarding community housing. A notable tool developed by this lab is the housing supply simulator. This simulator assesses the potential impact of policy changes, such as adjusting height limits or unit numbers, on the types of housing developed at different scales. Furthermore, it evaluates the financial viability and likelihood of development across various building types, zoning categories, and neighborhoods. Additionally, it predicts how policy alterations could affect housing production in proximity to transit, in areas susceptible to displacement, or in regions prone to wildfires, among other considerations.

Lastly, the Builders Lab, set to launch in 2024, will collaborate with emerging leaders in architecture, engineering, and construction to implement and scale innovative methods that streamline housing delivery nationwide. The lab aims to cultivate a cohort of ventures that pioneer advancements in construction techniques to facilitate the provision of affordable housing.

Collectively, these three labs exemplify how leveraging data, engaging stakeholders, and harnessing technology can pave the way for more effective housing policies.

Haiti Home Ownership And Mortgage Expansion (Home) Program

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Haiti Home Ownership And Mortgage Expansion (Home) Program

Mismatches Financing Vulnerable groups
Policies and regulations National policies Global frameworks Public-private initiatives
Financing Financial actors Discriminaciones Financieras Mortgage systems Supply subsidies Demand subsidies Progressive financing

Main objectives of the project

In contrast to a straightforward housing subsidy, a rewards system necessitates meeting predefined quality, efficiency, and accountability criteria before funding is allocated, both on the supply and demand sides. Linking financial incentives to particular outcomes ensures that capacity building aligns with a shift in behaviors and operational methods. This is the model HOME has implemented in Haiti. In a extreme situation of housing crisis, this system has been applied to either supply and demand sites of the market. The goal: to provide affordable houses to a middle and low class.

Date

  • 2015: Implementation

Stakeholders

  • USAID
  • Haitian government
  • Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI)
  • Affordable Housing Institute (AHI) of Haiti
  • IDB Invest

Location

Continent: North America
Country/Region: Haiti

Description

Haiti faces a significant housing deficit, estimated at 500,000 units, which accounts for nearly 25% of the nation's total housing stock for a population of 10 million. This disparity underscores the inaccessibility of formal housing for the majority of Haitians, especially considering the average house price in Port-au-Prince is USD 250,000, while the average annual wage remains below USD 800. Moreover, access to home financing is severely limited, with only about 400 mortgages available countrywide. The formal real estate market in Haiti has predominantly catered to high-income housing, leaving the middle class underserved, as developers and financial institutions perceive them as high-risk.

In response to this pressing need, the US Agency for International Development-funded HOME program has been initiated as a three-year endeavor aimed at capacity building within Haiti's private sector. Its primary objective is to facilitate the financing and construction of affordable housing and infrastructure. HOME operates on both the supply and demand sides of the housing economic value chain, collaborating with Haitian companies to incentivize affordable housing projects.

On the supply side, HOME partners with real estate developers and landowners to support affordable and market-driven housing initiatives. By employing pay-for-performance mechanisms, HOME encourages developers to target low-income households, minimize risks, expedite construction, and lower home prices. Additionally, to ensure adherence to high environmental standards, HOME has partnered with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to enable developers to obtain EDGE certification. These partnerships offer incentives to offset the additional investment required for ecological building standards, thus preventing price escalation for buyers.

Concurrently, on the demand side, HOME collaborates with financial institutions to address barriers to housing access in Haiti. The program advocates for larger banks to expand their mortgage portfolios and extend services to lower income segments. It also supports smaller institutions through technical assistance to enhance credit underwriting procedures, sales force training, and monitoring, thereby facilitating portfolio growth. Financial institutions are incentivized through pay-for-performance structures to expand their portfolios while maintaining low portfolio at risk (PAR) levels and increasing participation of households headed by women.

Haiti HOME has begun to invigorate the real estate market and empower local stakeholders to continue building and financing affordable homes beyond the program's duration. The program has already trained three local developers to target the lower-middle class, with three construction sites underway and two already receiving preliminary EDGE Green Building certification. Real estate developers have mobilized over USD 10 million of their own capital, a significant investment for the Haitian sector. HOME persists in collaborating with these developers to design larger projects to meet the needs of the Haitian population.

In terms of the demand side, HOME works with banks and credit cooperatives to enhance access to home financing, particularly for informal homes, having already mobilized over USD 6 million in mortgages and other home loans, benefiting more than 700 families.

Central to HOME's success is its program model, which focuses on incentivizing existing actors through a pay-for-performance approach on both the supply and demand sides of the housing market. Rather than imposing predetermined solutions or relying on traditional direct financing models, HOME rewards specific outcomes for financial institutions and developers through its HOME Facility fund. This approach encourages contractors to innovate in risk mitigation, organizational efficiency, and human resource development to foster affordable housing solutions in Haiti.

Johannesburg Housing Company

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Johannesburg Housing Company

Mismatches Location
Policies and regulations Local policies Public-private initiatives
Financing Supply subsidies
Promotion and production Public-private partnerships Private promotion Favelas/Slums

Main objectives of the project

When addressing informal settlements and the relocation of their residents, the common solution often involves outskirts due to their affordability. Typically, a large proportion of slum dwellers gravitate towards the outskirts of cities. However, Johannesburg has adopted a different approach. In efforts to rejuvenate its downtown area, the city has embraced an alternative strategy. Through the utilization of a non-profit institution, Johannesburg has implemented social housing initiatives within its city center. By repurposing abandoned or deteriorating buildings, the city has not only revitalized its downtown core but also provided much-needed social housing options.

Date

  • 1995: Implementation

Stakeholders

  • SHRA
  • Promotor: JHC

Location

Continent: Africa
Country/Region: Johannesburg, South Africa

Description

In South Africa, a significant portion of tenants reside in informal settlements, with over 400,000 housing units constructed on unauthorized land lacking basic services and vulnerable to environmental hazards like floods and fires. Between 2001 and 2011, the number of shacks erected in the backyards of existing dwellings surged by 55%, totaling more than 700,000 units. Despite the existence of the Social Housing Policy since 1994, the establishment of the regulatory authority (SHRA) in 2010 marked notable progress. The Minister of Human Settlements pledged the delivery of 1.5 million new housing opportunities by 2019.

Social housing projects are financed through a blend of government funds, debt, and up to 10% from for-profit private capital. The national government, via the SHRA, subsidizes up to 65% of capital costs and allows subsidized units for tenants meeting specific monthly family income thresholds. These subsidized units must constitute between 30% and 70% of all mixed projects.

Investment opportunities include the Social Housing Institution (SHI) model, where non-profit entities or owners undertake projects inclusive of social housing. Currently, around 83 SHIs have been established, delivering approximately 33,000 units nationwide. However, while the number of institutions is on the rise, the rate of unit development hasn't matched, leading to financial challenges for many. Only six out of the 83 institutions are financially stable, with an additional 25 potentially viable.

In Johannesburg, two SHIs have demonstrated remarkable success. One such entity is the Johannesburg Housing Company (JHC), founded in 1995, which has pioneered an innovative affordable housing model with efficient building management and exemplary customer service. It has facilitated the development of over 4,293 rental housing units, providing homes for more than 19,478 individuals. JHC's efforts have played a pivotal role in revitalizing downtown Johannesburg, transforming dilapidated or abandoned buildings into modern architecture units. The company utilizes two components of the rental housing policy: urban restructuring zones declaration and the Inner City Property Scheme (ICPS), formerly known as the Bad Building Program.

Initial funding provided to JHC enabled it to establish a solid capital base necessary for large-scale social housing development in the downtown area. By the late 2000s, JHC had a portfolio comprising nine renovated buildings and two new construction projects. The organization's cost management strategy ensures each building covers its operating costs, including interest on operating income.

Contrary to traditional urban regeneration strategies focused solely on economic growth, JHC's approach emphasizes building improvements, renovations, and new constructions to increase the city's housing stock by approximately 10% while rejuvenating rundown structures to provide affordable rents and decent housing. However, the future of social rental housing faces challenges, particularly regarding the diminishing availability of affordable land in restructuring zones.