The Parliamentary Committee on Local Authorities and Rural Development hosted delegates from Habitat for Humanity Malawi (HFHM) at Parliament Building in Lilongwe on Wednesday, 31st March, 2021.
Welcoming the HFHM delegates, Chairperson of the Committee, Honourable Horace Chipuwa said the meeting was crucial and was meant to appreciate the strategic interventions of HFHM and ensure how the committee can support efforts of housing poverty. In light of this, HFHM’s Interim National Director, Lucy Mwase, made a presentation detailing the organisation’s ongoing initiatives on affordable housing.
The goal of HFHM is to have a Malawi where everyone has a decent place to live. HFHM believes housing is the most important asset of the poor. As such improving access to housing can produce transformational impact on household income, health, food security, and equity among others. In 1986, HFHM has contributed in addressing poverty housing amongst the low income and vulnerable groups and has served over 35,000 households through housing microfinance, vulnerable group housing, housing support services and Disaster recovery programs.
Regardless of the efforts, most families in rural communities in Malawi still live in sub-standards homes characterized by mud walls and grass thatched roofs with little hope of ever being able to afford a decent house. To meet the current housing demand, HFHM advocates for low cost of building materials which when reduced in cost will make many more people access a decent house.
Mwase also urged parliamentarians to advocate for the housing needs in Malawi. She further advised the Parliamentary Committee to consult HFHM and other like-minded organisations during budget consultations to ensure that housing needs are considered in the government budgets.
The committee’s Chairperson Honourable Horace Chipuwa commended HFHM’s management for the focus to provide vulnerable families with decent housing. “We are impressed that HFHM is making such tremendous progress to ensure that Malawians particularly the vulnerable families access decent housing. This must be sustained and as a Parliamentary Committee, we will render such organisations the needed support. On behalf of all members we are very glad with progress made by HFHM,” said the chairperson.