Affordable Green Housing for the Urban Poor: A Challenge

Poor households could not afford to buy their own homes because of rising land and house prices, especially in the cities. There are also issues regarding the lack of low-cost alternatives to home ownership and unaffordable financing loans. But the reality is the government cannot solve the housing problem on its own. It is a good thing that non-government organizations, humanitarian organizations, and even private companies have now become involved in providing housing for the poor. Implementing a housing program is not simple. There are many things to be considered such as the physical structures, economic variables, social relations and political aspects. Amidst the consolidated efforts of the government, non-government organizations, private companies, and humanitarian organizations, why is there still a growing number of homeless people in the streets? How effective are the housing programs in solving the problem of homelessness in our country?

The increase in the number of homeless persons in the streets and other hazardous areas was a consequence of the failure of the society to provide affordable housing for the growing number of poor families in our cities. These homeless people face dangers every day that they are out there in the streets. Their health is constantly at risk in this kind of unlivable environment. Given the choice, who would not want to live in a decent, safer and cleaner community? If the poor are given affordable alternatives for housing, they will not live in the streets. But the reality is that they just cannot afford the formal housing currently available in the market especially now that all prices are increasing – basic commodities, fare, and other basic needs.

This is the challenge that we are facing now. How can we provide affordable housing for the poor? And while we are at it, let us think of ways on how to make durable houses that are affordable and at the same time, friendly to the environment. We are sure that there are creative and innovative minds out there who can help us provide a solution to this problem.