Frequently Asked Questions | Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka
1. What is Habitat for Humanity International?
Habitat for Humanity International is a global, non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to ending substandard housing and homelessness worldwide. Founded in 1976 by late Millard Fuller, HFHI works with people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses in partnership with families in need. Its operational headquarters are located in Americus, Georgia, USA.
2. What is Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka?
We are an International Non-Profit organization dedicated to fighting global poverty housing and homelessness through affordable housing and sanitation facilities across Sri Lanka. Our vision is a world where everyone has a safe place to call home. We believe that a decent home helps to permanently break the cycle of poverty and allows families to achieve strength, stability, and self-reliance. We also develop communities, improve existing homes that are in poor conditions, improve access to water and sanitation, and help communities become more resilient in the face of natural disasters.
3. What is the role of the National Office?
Habitat’s work in a country is coordinated and supported by a national Habitat office, staffed by experts in construction technology, financial management, marketing, volunteer management and fundraising. In Sri Lanka, Habitat operates under its National Office in collaboration with four project offices in Gampola, Kilinochchi, Batticaloa, Mullaitivu.
4. How does Habitat for Humanity help people in need of decent, affordable housing?
People all over the world partner with Habitat to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 9.8 million people in over 70 countries around the world.
5. How does Habitat’s “No Profit” housing partnership work with homeowners?
Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of homeowner (or known as ‘partner’) families, volunteer labor and donations of money and materials. Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka houses are free. Habitat does not charge home partners any fee for the construction of a home, as homes are constructed from donor funding. Home partners also invest their own labor known as “sweat equity” to construct their homes. In some areas Habitat works directly with the families to provide financial and technical support for housing. In other areas Habitat works through local partner NGOs or Community-Based Organizations to implement community development initiatives.
6. Do you have to be a Christian or belong a to a particular ethnicity to be a Habitat homeowner?
Habitat follows a non-discriminatory policy of family selection. Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing families to become Habitat homeowners. Families are selected to receive a Habitat home based on their need and their willingness to work in partnership with Habitat for Humanity.
7. How are partner families selected?
Families in need of shelter support must submit a request for support (through a letter of request) to Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka. Habitat selects beneficiaries to be supported based on their need for adequate housing.
Request letters can be submitted in Sinhala, Tamil or English. All requests for support must be addressed to:
The National Director
Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka
42/14, Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha,
8. How much does a Habitat house cost in Sri Lanka?
In Sri Lanka, the total cost of delivering a basic new incremental (core) home is approx.USD$2,700. In addition to building new homes, Habitat also offers home improvement options to serve families in need of renovations to their existing structures.
9. Does Habitat only build homes?
Habitat Sri Lanka’s primary program is home construction. We build new core homes for vulnerable and marginalized low-income families. However, we also focus on providing communities with access to safe drinking water and constructing adequate sanitation facilities (toilets) for families in need across the country. Since 2016 we have also bee focused on promoting environmentally sustainable construction practices through the use of Earth Blocks in house construction.
10. How can we support the work of Habitat Sri Lanka?
You can support the work of Habitat Sri Lanka by donating towards our fundraising campaigns, volunteer to construct homes for families in need or partner with us if you are a business or Corporate.