Tsunami Shelter Fund to Support Construction Center, 'Home Builders Care Village'
NAHB and the National Housing Endowment, the philanthropic arm of NAHB, have designated Habitat for Humanity International and Shelter for Life International to be the recipients of the Home Builders Care/National Housing Endowment-Tsunami Relief Fund.
The partnership with the relief agencies, announced at the Spring board of directors meeting earlier this month, will provide long-term shelter reconstruction support to those affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in South Asia on Dec. 26. The quake in the Indian Ocean quake set off one of the deadliest tsunamis in history, killing an estimated 280,000 people in 11 countries and leaving 1.2 million people homeless.
Through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity International, which already is working in four of the affected nations in South Asia, NAHB and the National Housing Endowment will help support Habitat’s existing goal of housing up to 35,000 families. Habitat has raised $39 million toward its goal.
Establishing a Disaster Response Technical Center
Technical center will teach skills to help people rebuild their homes and lives.
NAHB will direct a portion of the funds raised by the Tsunami Shelter Fund to support the construction of a Disaster Response Technical Center in one of the affected countries Habitat is serving. These centers provide technical expertise and assistance to families, Habitat affiliates and partners during the first stages of construction and are a resource to produce building materials, which are becoming scarce. A similar center already operating in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, produces 3,600 concrete blocks a day. The center, established five years ago, helps keep building costs down and provides trade skills to the native population.
Building a ‘Home Builders Care Village' in Sri Lanka
The other portion of the funds raised through the Tsunami Shelter Fund will be used to partner with Shelter For Life International to build a “Home Builders Care Village” of starter homes in Sri Lanka. Shelter For Life is a 25-year-old international relief and development organization that assists people affected by conflict or disaster to rebuild and improve their lives and communities.
For the last six years, Shelter For Life has been working in Sri Lanka, helping rebuild after a 20-year civil conflict displaced 10% of the population. The organization also is providing training workshops to help the local population learn to make blocks and other materials that can sustain the rebuilding effort.
Shelter For Life uses local building materials and works with the beneficiaries of the homes, ensuring that they respect local traditions with the home designs. Beneficiaries provide their own unskilled labor if they are able, though no cash contribution is required to receive one of the homes. Shelter For Life is working with the government of Sri Lanka as plans are finalized for ensuring proper land use and selecting beneficiaries for homes built by Shelter For Life and other relief agencies.
The two relief organizations where chosen through a process begun shortly after the International Builders’ Show when a team, led by NAHB Past President Bob Mitchell conducted a series of interviews and conference calls with a number of established relief agencies to determine who could best help NAHB and the National Housing Endowment carry out its mission.
Starter homes like these will be built in the "Home Builders Care Village."
NAHB seeded the Tsunami Shelter Fund with an initial $250,000 contribution, and an additional $56,000 has been raised thus far.
NAHB is encouraging members to participate by making a tax-deductible donation to the fund to support this important rebuilding endeavor.
Please direct your donation check to:
National Housing Endowment
1201 15th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
Checks should be made payable to the National Housing Endowment, and in the memo section, please note "Tsunami Shelter Fund."
For more information, contact Troy Patterson at the National Housing Endowment at 800-368-5242 x8483, or Kym Kilbourne at NAHB, x8447.