In the free markets of today’s democracies, housing is an investment, not a human right. To build housing in this commodified environment is to pursue profit, not to reaffirm humanity.
What future, then, for an organization such as Habitat for Humanity, which wears its intentions on its sleeve and in its name? Its objectives have nothing to do with investment and profit. Nevertheless the charity is forced to compete with free market investors for necessary building supplies, as well as scarce and expensive land.
With the overwhelming commodification of housing, Habitat is facing a more difficult future. And so the charity, world famous for its success in building single unit affordable houses using sweat equity and charitable contributions, has set out to at least partially reinvent itself.
Relying on volunteer labour and individual charitable donations does not always guarantee that single unit housing will be affordable. So Habitat is turning its volunteerism, commitment, drive, and expertise resources to different forms of affordable housing enterprise, and supporting them with different funding models.
One diversification is housing repair. Read more at Charlotte, NC’s WFAE 90.7: Finding Home: Habitat Repair Programs Help Preserve Affordable Houses
For earlier stories on the economic pressures and Habitat’s diversified initiatives, try: