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Chile is a highly urbanized country, with roughly 86 percent of its 16.4 million residents living in urban areas. In 2001, 9 percent of the urban population is considered to suffer slum conditions, up from 4 percent in 1990. (UNdata) This situation has been further worsened by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck the country on February 27, 2010.
Since 1906, Chile’s government has been involved in low-cost housing solutions, typically in the form of subsidies. In the 1970’s, the government made a drastic cut to the state spending on housing, resulting in a housing deficit that the country is still in efforts to overcome. In 1990, the Aylwin government increased funds for housing by 50% and made public housing programs more available to the low-income sectors in an attempt to freeze the existing deficit. (Rex A. Hudson ,ed. Chile: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1994)
Within this context, Habitat Chile’s principal success, and main source of funding, has been through ongoing partnerships with government programs. These partnerships combine established housing subsidies with Habitat’s technical assistance programs and creative housing solutions. With additional support and leadership from organizations such as Habitat, government housing and subsidy programs successfully encourage low-income sectors to obtain legal property through formal channels, creating a more secure foundation for each family’s future.
Global Village is Habitat for Humanity’s international volunteer program. Teams travel to over 40 countries to work alongside communities, build housing solutions, and experience local culture. Our goal is to change the lives of the people we serve, as well as the lives of the volunteers.
To join a team or learn more, visit www.habitat.org/gv.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in more than 1,300 communities throughout the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.
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