5176 FAMILIES UNDER OWN ROOF 2016-07-05

5176 FAMILIES UNDER OWN ROOF

 

Armenians have always been known for their peculiarity for building a house and settling down. But the political and economic situation, coupled with unfavorable social conditions, often hinder the fulfillment of dreams of many Armenians to have a safe, proper, and affordable home. It is in these cases when Habitat for Humanity Armenia stretches a helping hand and unites various people in the process of building homes and spreading hope. Its vision is a world, where everyone has a decent home. The housing issues in Armenia are many and diverse. Habitat for Humanity Armenia Foundation, being one of the leading organizations in the area, proposes projects, which help low and middle income families solve their housing issues and improve their living conditions. Habitat for Humanity International has operated in Armenia for 15 years and currently implements projects through the management of its national office - Habitat for Humanity Armenia Foundation. For 15 continuous years this Foundation has been developing and implementing projects due to which thousands of vulnerable families obtain a safe and proper place to call Home. As of 2016, these projects are categorized into the following 5 directions: 1. The aim of house microfinance is to assist low-income families in both rural and urban communities to renovate their houses, improve water supplies, sanitary conditions, and complete construction of half-built houses and enhance the energy efficiency of the buildings. To implement the projects, Habitat for Humanity Armenia collaborates with universal credit organizations which provide loans to partner families with favorable conditions and low interests. According to monitoring results, partner families are happy both with the loan product and the quality of services received. In 2015, the use of solar energy by families, as well as solar water heaters projects were added which are now planned to be implemented in three regions – Shirak, Gegharkunik and Syunik. Armenia is known as a country having natural solar energy. Using solar energy will enable low-income families to have affordable water heating which is not dependent on imported energy with constantly skyrocketing prices. Habitat Armenia collaborates with five agencies that produce and deliver solar water heaters. 2. Another important aspect is renovation, maintenance and implementation of energy efficient measures in common spaces of residential buildings. The majority of residential buildings in Yerevan and regions do not have proper insulation and have substandard entrances and roofs. This reduces energy efficiency of the buildings in the result of which residents use more natural gas and electricity. To address this issue, Habitat Armenia has been implementing a number of projects which develop in a few directions - legislative reforms, work with Home Owners’ Associations and renovation of residential buildings. Habitat Armenia Foundation has elaborated very effective financial mechanisms for renovation, maintenance and improving the energy efficiency of common spaces of residential buildings. In Yerevan the Foundation cooperates with Inecobank CJSC and Yerevan municipality. The municipality provides up to 40% subsidies to Home Owners’ Associations, while Inecobank CJSC provides loans for the particular building to be renovated and fully insulated. The loan is paid back by the residents through monthly payments. Due to this model, about 10 buildings in Yerevan have warmer entrances and renovated roofs which considerably contribute to energy savings, as well as improving living standards of residents. The projects are also being implemented in regions. In the towns of Vayk and Spitak activities geared towards maintenance of common spaces and energy efficiency in residential buildings are being implemented. External insulation of 4 buildings will also be done. In a few buildings, including a kindergarten in Spitak, solar water heaters and panels will be installed, too. The activities targeted