A significant percentage of target families have large numbers of family members living together in tiny huts, making life difficult at best. Many cannot afford to build, repair, or reconstruct their house after it is damaged or destroyed by the incessant monsoon rain or the regularly occurring natural disasters. A number of families lost their homes due to social disturbances during the last thirty years and are unable to recover them. They live in houses made of mud or thatch with thatch roofs and are at the mercy of seasonally varying heat, cold, or rain. They regularly find themselves without shelter and without money to undertake urgent repairs. They are extremely vulnerable to crime and theft while they have no access to legal protection when they are victimized.
Owning a home that can house all members of a family and withstand the elements for an extensive period of time has innumerable benefits. First and foremost, it provides all members of the family, though especially the women, with physical and psychological security. Secondly, it will create opportunities for women to begin self-employment, which in turn increases the family’s overall income. An increased income means improved social status for the women and the family and in the long run provides the necessary means to meet the family’s other needs, such as food, healthcare, education, sanitation, and safe drinking water. By providing the families with housing, the target families will have a solid foundation on which they will be able to base other uplift activities.
The housing program is a partnership between donors, PEP’s project team, and the target families that seeks to ensure satisfactory housing for the hard-core poor, protect their health and possessions, and to save recurring housing repair costs. PEP has been providing tin-roofed housing for the poor of each working area since 1987 and has provided more than 11,000 families with housing assistance.