Across Latin America, Techo Combines Home Construction with Community Development

Un Techo para Chile began as a youth volunteer program and has expanded its influence by partnering with the private sector. Techo provides technical assistance during home construction and develops community programs as well.

12.16.2015
 

Objectives

  • Provide low-income segment communities with permanent housing solutions
  • Build community development projects
  • Influence decision and public policy making by giving vulnerable settlements a voice 

Summary

Techo (Un Techo para Chile, which translates into “A Roof for Chile”), began as a youth led voluntary initiative in 1997 with the purpose to construct emergency housing for families living in low-income settlements. Since 2010, Techo has expanded to create partnerships with private enterprises, including architectural firms and construction companies. Techo specializes as a technical assistance provider for these low income families. They help families apply for subsidies and supervise home builders during the construction of their new homes. Techo also plans and develops housing designs that are aligned with the needs and aspirations of local communities.

Techo operates based on 3 values and principles

Contact with communities: volunteers conduct onsite visits of communities and homes to determine the necessary improvements needed. In the process, a sense of trust is established between Techo and the community.

Participative space: Techo sets up meetings between the volunteers and the community leaders to develop programs and solutions needed for the community even after homes are built. Ranges of solutions include educational programs, employment opportunities, and health promotion.

Permanent solutions: Techo prides itself on building last homes with long-term value.

Results

Techo has worked in 19 countries across Latin America and the Caribbe, serving over 89,500 families, and constructing 3,310 permanent homes. Their volunteering network is estimated at around 530,000 in Latin America.