Housing Poverty In Japan
- 5,000 volunteers helped during the 2014 typhoon
- 1,765 volunteers hosted in FY20
- Projects: disaster response, financial advice, education, reconstruction
In November 2003, Habitat for Humanity Japan was officially registered as a non-profit organisation. HFH Japan’s main activities are in mobilising volunteers for overseas builds and local disaster response efforts as well as raising awareness of Habitat’s work. When disasters strike, HFH Japan also appeals for funds to support rebuilding efforts in the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere.
In Japan’s rapidly aging society, more people over the age of 65 are now living on their own. Based on government data in 2016, there were over 6 million older people who lived alone. Older people with health problems tend to stay in their homes and lose ties to the community.As their physical and mental health declines, they may continue living in unsafe and unhygienic conditions without seeking support.
With the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis, older people, individuals with disabilities, single-parent households and those with unstable livelihoods face greater difficulties in accessing low-cost rental housing. In addition to limited supply, landlords are reluctant to accept these vulnerable groups as tenants due to the lack of stable income.
With the support of volunteers, Habitat partners with these vulnerable groups in accessing new rental apartments as well as cleaning up homes. In fiscal year 2020, Habitat mobilized over 200 local volunteers and served 59 households in Japan.
When a major disaster strikes, Habitat Japan appeals for funding to support post-disaster reconstruction efforts. In the event of a domestic disaster, Habitat mobilizes local volunteers to clear debris and disseminate information on the revitalization of homes, among other needs. Habitat Japan responded to its first major disaster after a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan in March 2011. Habitat also helped families affected by the Kumamoto earthquake in April 2016.
In the process, they worked with local governments as well as local non-governmental organisation partners such as Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Center and All Hands Volunteers. They also initiated a Home Repair project for families whose homes were damaged in the disaster.
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