Housing poverty in Nepal

  • 45,960 people served in FY18 45,960 people served in FY18
  • Over 50,000 volunteers hosted Over 50,000 volunteers hosted
  • Projects: disaster response and relief, women's empowerment, repair and training Projects: disaster response and relief, women's empowerment, repair and training

We started working in Nepal in 1997.

However, eight years later we had helped only 830 families to build decent housing. So, in a strategic decision to increase our impact, we began to leverage on partnerships with other NGOs, microfinance institutions, and village lending and savings groups.

The housing need in Nepal: slums and squats

At least 40,000 urban housing units in Nepal are required annually until 2021, according to a study done by UN-HABITAT at the request of the Nepali government.

The 2010 study, “Nepal Urban Housing Sector Profile”, stated that soaring land prices and increasing rural-urban migration made it difficult for the poor to afford housing, especially in the fast-growing urban areas.

About 10% of urban dwellers in Nepal are squatters and the number is set to rise…

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How we help fight housing poverty in Nepal

We work with various community level organisations in 35 districts to increase our impact by reaching out to poorer communities. The result is a cost-effective and environmental-friendly housing programme delivered through multiple partnerships with local institutions.

We also work on extending our impact through partnerships with the government and celebrity ambassadors. Special events such as Habitat Youth BUILD, Everest Build, and Scouts Build help to raise awareness of the need for decent housing.

Housing solutions we provide include:

  • Leveraging network of partnerships to provide decent homes
  • Training communities in the use of cost-effective local materials and technology
  • Empowering vulnerable communities
  • Meaningful volunteer engagement

Together with our partners, we are currently building 2.3 houses per hour.

Key facts & figures

  • Capital: Kathmandu
  • Population – circa 30.66 million
  • Urbanization – 21.5%
  • Life expectancy – 72.4 years
  • Unemployment – 3%
  • Poverty line – 25.2%

Supporting single mothers

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This project is currently in the second phase and aims to help female-headed households to upgrade their houses, improve their water and sanitation facilities, and maintain good personal hygiene. Families also form savings groups and learn how to boost their incomes through livelihood training. A total of 478 female-headed households in Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Saptari and Siraha districts will benefit from our partnership with local microfinance institutions.

Skills & leadership training for women

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Locally available construction materials such as bamboo and sun-dried bricks are promoted in all the districts where we work.

Women home partners are also built up through training in income-generating activities and leadership, and get to learn about health and safe sanitation. Recently, the first female mason in Kavre was trained and she is possibly the proudest mason in her entire village - as she is not only earning a living but also taking part in the rebuilding activities after the 2015 Earthquake

Former bonded laborers (ex- Kamaiya)

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Our partner microfinance institutions provide housing loans to "ex-Kamaiya", or former bonded labourers, to improve or strengthen their homes against disasters, and to gain access to safe water and sanitation.

The second phase of this project in Mahendranagar will also see 437 ex-Kamaiya households being trained in income-generating activities and receiving loans to start small businesses.

Disaster response

In June 2011, we celebrated our 10,000th family served and by mid-2014, more than 54,000 families had been helped. However,…

In June 2011, we celebrated our 10,000th family served and by mid-2014, more than 54,000 families had been helped.

However, on April 25, 2015 a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal.


Vulnerability to natural disasters

In highly rural and predominantly agricultural Nepal, disasters such as flooding and fires leave families vulnerable.

Our local team promotes the use of cost-effective materials such as bamboo and sun-dried bricks in building houses that are more disaster-resilient, easier to maintain and friendlier to the environment.

In March 2014, we distributed more than 80 emergency shelter kits comprising bamboo poles and mats to families who lost their homes in a fire in Sunsari district.

a home destroyed by the earthquake in Nepal