Post-Haiyan Self-Recovery Housing Programme (2017 World Habitat Award Winner)

In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan devastated large areas of the Philippines causing significant loss of life and destroying approximately one million homes. Through the Post-Haiyan Self-Recovery Housing Programme (2013-2016) CARE Philippines helped over 15,500 families made homeless by Haiyan to rebuild their homes. All phases of the rebuilding work were done in line with the families’ wishes and kept affordable so that they could work within their means. Families were supported to rebuild their homes themselves, hence being called a ‘self-recovery’ approach. Working with families to develop their own housing is different from the majority of natural disaster responses which tend to focus on temporary solutions built quickly by external contractors. The ‘self-recovery’ approach also helps families to feel more empowered and have a stronger sense of ownership over decision-making, their housing and their lives in general. The Post-Haiyan Self-Recovery Housing project had a strong emphasis on supporting the families who were most severely affected and most vulnerable following the disaster. This was partly because it was felt that they were least likely to be able to resolve their housing problem without support but also because enabling very vulnerable people to have an active role in delivering their own housing solutions was seen as very important. Support for ‘self-recovery’ is an approach that could reach a much greater scale. Combining basic guidance, simple tools and resources allows humanitarian agencies to help more people. It makes the most of natural human resilience and enables people to take charge of their own recovery. For further information, visit