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The current pandemic has once again spotlighted the importance of having an adequate home to preserve our health and lives.

 

Faced with our new reality, we have focused our attention on looking for ways we can rapidly help more families improve their housing situation and be able to stay safe. To do so, we enhanced one of our most important programs: the educational one.

 

We changed the approach and methodology of our workshops and designed the remote program “Health and Housing”. We focused the workshops on hygiene and protection in times of Covid19 and dengue, as well as every relevant aspect related to healthy family coexistence. We are conducting workshops via Whatsapp with personalized follow up to ensure the progress of the participant families. On completion of the program participants are expected to make small and practical improvements on their houses. Every family who completes the program of three workshops will receive a set of different products to implement what they have learned.

 

This reality allowed us to discover a great opportunity: addressing digital inclusion by giving families the chance to use their mobile phones as educative tools to learn about improving their current situation.

 

Additionally, the Health and Housing program is not limited geographically, as it can be implemented in any neighborhood of Argentina. As a result we are building new partnership with different organizations to improve the program’s impact and help more families during this harsh time.

 

 

We need your help to reach families whose houses are not a safe place to undergo this quarantine, and help them improve their home and health. Donations are destined to delivering different sets of products and tools for the families who complete our three-workshop program.
Donate today to support a family

As April is coming to an end, we are going through a very special moment both for Argentina and the world. There arrived a pandemic that faces us with a serious challenge, as part of the responsibility is in the hands of the Government but another great part is in our own hands. We are dealing with a health and a social emergency. We –the Argentine people and here in HPHA– are aware that we have being living the latter for quite a few years now.

 

Habitat para la Humanidad Argentina has been working and making a great effort to ensure that everyone has access to their own space, their own habitat. During this pandemic –and under mandatory lockdown– each person’s home and habitat plays a key role, with many facets that we need to analyze together.

 

One of the issues in which Argentina has very daunting statistics is that of gender-based violence and femicides. The number of femicides hasn’t decreased in years. On the contrary, it grows every day. Lockdown has only worsened these figures. Thus, it is highly important for us to reflect on gender equality at home. More than half of femicides are committed by partners, former partners or significant others. It is hard. It is hard to file the complaint, to stop forgiving and to stop believing that everything will eventually work out.

 

This issue is greatly related to our upbringing. Gender is a cultural issue. We need to demystify the attributes associated with the house, men and women. There is no blue or pink. Let’s seize these days where all the family is at home so that everyone fulfills a role. Let’s try to analyze how we can teach at home that taking care of the house is a responsibility of mom and dad just as much as of your brother or sister. Let’s try to give a gender perspective to every activity we do these days. We need to seize this time to try and understand what is happening to us, why it is happening to us and how we can improve ourselves. These are difficult times but we need to consider how we can make each habitat the best place for us to take refuge. Let’s be creative, ingenious and considerate. Let’s find ways to integrate, discuss things and find new “spaces”.

 

Let’s be careful and stay home. But let’s also try to keep developing our gender perspective in this habitat that we are living in today.

 

Graciela Adán
Director of Fundación Global
HPHA Honorary Member
https://www.fundacionglobal.org.ar/

Today, six of the nine families renting in our Estela de Esperanzas* building (La Boca, Buenos Aires), rely on a woman that is both mother and head of the household.

 

What does being “head of the household” involve? Although the National Statistics Institute does not provide a clear and accurate definition –as the only requirement is for the head of the household to be older than 15 years old–, we understand that it involves a combination of being the decision maker and the person who provides financial support to cover household expenses as well as those of the other members of the family.

 

Women renting in our building –at the market price– have a long history of obstacles and conflict when it comes to finding a place to live. Not only do they have to deal with the difficulties faced by any low or middle income person when it comes to renting, but also with the gender issue and the lack of equality that positions them as the most excluded from the housing market.

 

This is due to the fact that women are generally in charge of the upbringing of their children, whether the father is present or not. Moreover, there are many cases in which, even with a court sentence or a mediation agreement, they do not receive the money they should be paid as child support. The main reason for this, apart from irresponsibility on the part of the fathers, is that they have informal jobs (undeclared) and, therefore, there is no salary from which to force payment under the law.

 

Not only do mothers have to deal with higher expenses –that depend entirely on them when their children are underaged– but also with having to spend a great part of their time taking care of and accompanying their children. As a result, they have less access to job opportunities, which impacts directly on the salary they could earn. Taking all this into account and considering how hard it is for them to enter into a rental contract and to fulfill the requirements for entry (paying 3 months in advance, a deposit, a surety insurance, the costs of document duty, etcetera), their real chances of gaining access to a proper and fair place to live are basically nonexistent.

 

Therefore, we want to express how proud we are of being witnesses of the effort and fight of these women. Each mother should have fair access to a place to rent that is adequate for her family. We are committed to keep trying to find the way to make access to rent a reality for those who find themselves excluded from the market today.

 

*The Estela de Esperanzas building was built by HPHA in La Boca neighborhood in 2008. In its place, there
used to be a conventillo in risk of collapse. Today, nine families trying to overcome the difficult housing
conditions in CABA are renting there.

In the current context we continue to be in touch with the families in the neighbourhoods where we have ongoing projects. Using available technology and cell phones we connect to find out how the families are, hear their concerns and mainly to let them know that – whilst in quarantine – we are still close by.

In the current context we continue to be in touch with the families in the neighbourhoods where we have ongoing projects. Using available technology and cell phones we connect to find out how the families are, hear their concerns and mainly to let them know that – whilst in quarantine – we are still close by.

 

Abiding by the measures taken by the Argentine government, Hábitat para la Humanidad Argentina has suspended all on-site activities. We are focusing on health issues and designing actions to continue serving families in need of a decent house.

 

Health and safety are today’s main priorities. And we know that the current phrase “stay home” implies different things for different families. The lack of adequate housing, both in terms of quality and quantity, urges us to support our vision more than ever: Putting all our efforts into a world where every person has access to a decent place to “stay home”.

 

At home, but still close by.

 

For comments or inquiries, please contact us by phone or email:
Cellphone: +54 9 11 6755-6278
Executive Director: acutts@hpha.org.ar
Development & Operations: gblitzer@hpha.org.ar
Urban Strategy and Institutional Relations: pcelestino@hpha.org.ar

 

We remind you of the importance of following each and every recommendation made in times of quarantine and self-isolation. For any doubt, please visit the following official site.

ATLANTA (March 23, 2020) — Habitat for Humanity International 

CEO Jonathan Reckford issued the following statement regarding the economic ripple effects of COVID-19:

 

With each passing day, we all find ourselves trying to adapt to the measures required to combat the spread of COVID-19. In countries and cultures all around the world, “stay at home” is the message of the moment. “Shelter in place.”

 

It’s the right thing to do, and if we are all able to flatten the curve, we know that we will have, together, saved countless lives. But all of us at Habitat for Humanity also know that there are far too many families for whom this isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. The uncertainty so many of us feel today, these families have felt for a lifetime — if not generations.

 

Where for many “shelter in place” means figuring out logistics and adjusting mindsets, for others it only exacerbates the conditions with which they have struggled for so long. Houses already not healthy because of leaks or mold.

 

Homes already overcrowded because the only way to afford rent or save up money is for extended family to stay together in a too-small space. Homes without easy access to a constant water supply. Spaces that shelter, but only just.

 

Where for many “stock up on what you need” means a frustrating, jarring trip through the inconveniently (and temporarily) hit-or-miss-stocked shelves of a local market, for others it’s a reminder of how close to the financial edge they already live. Imagine that, for these families, shopping for supplies always feels this way — not because of the crowds around them hurrying to acquire whatever they can, but because they have to make terrible choices every day. In order to make sure the rent can be paid, which would you choose? Filling a basket with healthy groceries. Filling a necessary prescription. Filling the tank of your car with the fuel that allows
you to do either.

 

When these are the choices you face, you can’t win. As the economic shocks from this crisis ripple out, these same families will be hardest hit. They always are. For far too many, as businesses have closed and hourly workers have lost their jobs, it has already begun.

 

These are the families with whom we partner. They are going to need our hand up now more than ever. And now more than ever, our work — much like flattening the curve — will require all of us, together. You can help us help these families, these communities, our neighbors build back. Stronger, in solidarity and with your support.

 

*Jonathan Reckford’s message was taken from www.habitat.org
All rights reserved. Habitat for Humanity International.

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¿CREÉS QUE TODOS MERECEMOS UNA VIVIENDA ADECUADA Y SALUDABLE?