Habitat for Humanity Chile

Families Served Current FY: 19
Total Houses Constructed: 265
House Sponsorship Cost (USD): $7,030
Alameda 335-Dpto 101 A
Phone: +56 6641903
Fax: +56 6641539

Mapuche Indigenous Habitat House at the Andes Mountain Range

Thanks to the desire of a group of local residents and foreigners to help families living in poverty, a Habitat for Humanity (Habitat) program was started in Chile. In 2001, with its official legal status in hand, the fledgling program began selecting partner families and building in Caldera, in the northern Atacama area.

Habitat Chile has since branched out to three other communities: one near the capital, in Los Andes (which started building in 2004), and the others in the south, in Nueva Imperial and Villarrica, which are known for their large Mapuche indigenous populations. These rural areas are amongst the poorest in the country.

Habitat houses are designed according to the location and the regionís construction materials. For example, cement blocks are used in the north and wood in the south. The size of the houses varies from 20 to 55 m2, depending on the size of the family.

According to the modelsí architect, the following characteristics of Habitat houses facilitate their construction and guarantee their quality: the use of highly durable materials, the use of natural light and ventilated and integrated interior spaces and easy-to-use self-construction plans. Habitat houses are affordable and raise architectural standards for low-income housing models used to address poverty housing in Chile.

Habitat Chile currently uses government programs to fund construction projects, and incorporate housing subsidies.

A happy Mapuche indigenous family in front of their new Habitat house.

Housing Need

The most recent National Socio-Economic Characteristics Survey (2000) produced some alarming results. Close to 21 percent of the Chilean population is poor and indigent. In the Atacama region, the number rises to 24 percent. In 2003, the housing deficit was estimated at 1,164,629 homes. The Department of Housing and Urbanization offers several housing programs each with unique characteristics.

Country Facts

Location: South America
Climate: temperate; desert in north
Population: 16.295.000
Territory: 756.945 Km 2
Economy: industries include copper, other minerals, foodstuffs, fish processing, wood products, transport, etc.
Government: republic.
Religions: predominantly Christian
Literacy: 95 percent
Languages: Spanish

Affiliates in Chile

Affiliate Name City Website
Los Andes HPH Los Anders, V Region
Araucania HPH Temuco

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