Housing poverty in Fiji

  • +4,900 families served +4,900 families served
  • +834 volunteers hosted (2016) +834 volunteers hosted (2016)
  • Projects: disaster response, water and sanitation, disabled access housing Projects: disaster response, water and sanitation, disabled access housing

We started our work to fight housing poverty in Fiji in 1991.

Since then, we have helped over 4,900 families to build homes and new futures through partnerships with governments, NGOs and international volunteers. But our work goes beyond the construction of homes. We on a range of projects throughout the country including disaster prevention and recovery, water and sanitation, and disabled access housing projects.

Disasters

An estimated 140,000 people currently live in substandard housing conditions, and the number is on the rise.

Fiji is expected to need a total of more than 30,000 houses over the next 15 years. Poverty and inequality continue to be a challenge.

Read more about disaster relief in Fiji

Poverty

According to official statistics, 31 percent of the population live in poverty though the local social services council has put the figure at 60 percent or half a million people.

Inequality

The rising cost of living and the advent of category four Cyclone Tomas in March 2010 increased the poor’s vulnerability, said Fiji’s Council of Social Services.

The poorest households also lack piped water, adequate sanitation, electricity or rubbish disposal.

How we tackle housing poverty in Fiji

Our activities in Fiji range from new house construction to helping families rebuild after cyclones and other disasters to improving…

Our activities in Fiji range from new house construction to helping families rebuild after cyclones and other disasters to improving water and sanitation access in various communities.

Habitat homes are typically built with a combination of locally supplied timber, concrete, and metal roofing.

Low-income families contribute their own labour to build their new homes and make monthly repayments for the cost of their houses.

a beneficiary family in Fiji

Key facts & figures:

  • Population: Over 915,000
  • Urbanization: 53.7 percent live in cities
  • Life expectancy: 72.7 years
  • Unemployment rate: 8.8 percent
  • Population living below poverty line: 31 percent

Community water projects

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We help remote communities to gain access to clean water supply with funding support from various international donors such as the Japanese Embassy and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT).

Decent homes for vulnerable groups

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Funding support from the European Union enabled us to help a total of 157 families build or repair or improve their houses, with 27 water systems delivered to the local communities. Sugar Build, a special event organised from 4-6 August 2014, launched the final year of this three-year project in Bulileka, Labasa on Vanua Levu island.

Natural disaster response

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Families affected by March 2010’s Cyclone Tomas received new homes built by our local team with funding support from the New Zealand Aid Programme, Fiji’s government and other donors. We also repaired four schools with funding support from UNICEF. Families hit by 2012’s Cyclone Evan received transitional shelters funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme.

Engaging with volunteers

We host 6-8 Global Village teams (volunteering trips) each year with volunteer builders coming from countries such as Australia, New…

We host 6-8 Global Village teams (volunteering trips) each year with volunteer builders coming from countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan and USA.

Our team kickstarted the Habitat Youth BUILD 2015 campaign with a special build at a local park. About 130 volunteers, mostly from local youth groups, worked from 16 to 18 December to build two transitional houses that would be donated to low-income families.

Construction in Fiji