There are many people all over the world who are in need of decent housing. Providing housing for them has been a challenge everywhere so there are many international experiences that we can learn from. LiveNF has done its research and we are sharing with you some of the inspiring stories of housing and community development that we learned. Our learnings from their experiences have been the foundation of our approach to providing housing solutions in the City of Niagara falls in New York.
In India, the Mahila Milan came up with a housing project. The women members were actively involved in every step of the planning process – they studied about housing and housing finance, visited possible relocation sites, set up criteria for houses that they liked and could afford.
In Orangi, a town in Pakistan, they initiated the Orangi Pilot Project Sanitation Program. They became known for this socially innovative project which involved the collaborative efforts of community members and a private development agency. This showed us that residents were willing to shoulder not just the cost but also management of maintaining a modern sanitation system. OPP helped by finding ways to reduce the cost of the materials. They also conducted capacity buildings to teach the residents about the management system.
These examples prove that to be able to provide housing for the people, they have to be actively engaged in the initiatives for community development. It is not just about asking them to pay the mortgage.
Of course, we know that the money that they spend in buying houses will affect their budget allocation for their food, health, and other important concerns. Obviously, it is hard for anyone especially for those who are just starting out to shell out a big amount of money for their shelter. That is why we have to find ways and means to reduce the cost of putting a roof over their head. Since we cannot control the rising cost of land and construction, the least we can do is focus on helping them find housing programs that are more affordable and will suit their needs when it comes to building relationships with other people.