Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia serves the needy families by implementing projects in the areas of Housing, Water & Sanitation, and Provision of Mosquito Nets: 




Conventional houses (mortgage based housing)

This is the traditional housing program where needy families become homeowners through long term no-profit and no-interest loans. The target beneficiaries are low income families with a maximum monthly house hold income of Birr 900 (50 USD).

The selection criteria of families for homeownership are: need, willingness to partner and ability to pay the no profit and no interest loans.  The level of need of target families is explained by the situation of housing unit in which the family is living at the time, level of over-crowdedness, availability or accessibility of sanitation facilities, family size (the minimum being three family members). The family must also demonstrate willingness to partner with HFH and to contribute sweat equity.   In  January 2013,  the average cost of a conventional house with an average size of 26 square meters with a VIP latrine is 3,000 Birr (2,100 USD).


Vulnerable group(VG) housing

This is a housing program where needy vulnerable families get the houses with full subsidy as a giveaway. The target families are those families with no or meager income usually sourced from begging or asking alms and suffering from some kind of illness and / or disabilities. The disabilities can be physical, mental or visual impairment. In addition to this, to qualify for housing support, the VG families must live in absolute poverty and poverty housing or temporary shelter (settlement) in poor or no sanitation facility, poor or no kitchen facility. The families must have a minimum of three family members with no other conventional means to get or build their own houses. The family members (those who are not limited by disability) must also demonstrate willingness to partner, contribute labor. The average cost of a VG house with an average size of 26 square meters with a VIP latrine and a kitchen is Birr 48,000 (US$ 2800).


Kitchen Improvement

This program is part of the housing solution which involves improving kitchen facilities for low income families. The program is a low-cost and culturally acceptable intervention to replace traditional kitchens (dilapidated kitchen structures) which waste huge energy and hazardous to the health of families. The improved energy saving stoves are the components of improved kitchens and are proven to reduce smoke emissions at least by 60% and fire wood costs at least by 50%  with the resulting positive impacts on the health of women and children who are often expected to cook food for the family. Depending on the type of kitchen to be improved and components to be included, the costs vary from  USD 70.00 to USD 1,300.


Water & Sanitation

This intervention focuses on providing low income families and neighborhoods with better access to clean water and sanitation facilities such as individual and group VIP toilets. These services are also provided to schools where children of low income families go.  


Communal toilets

Communal toilets are constructed in urban slum areas or schools where there are families suffer from lack of these facilities due to shortages or unavailability. Target families are selected in groups based on their individual and group sanitation needs (absence of toilets, or deteriorated existing toilets). The cost of a typical six-seater communal toilet ranges from Birr 70,000 to Birr 90, 000 Birr( USD 3,800 to USD 4,800).



This includes provision of potable water for dwellers in different towns of Ethiopia including the capital Addis Ababa. The target families are low income families and communities who do not have easy access to clean water. The target families usually buy water from expensive private sources which are far from their homes and women have to carry water to their homes every day. HFH Ethiopia provides water services at least in two modalities: communal stand pipes and group water taps. It also includes large water service system development such as spring development, construction of service reservoirs, pumping systems and installation of water lines for wider area coverage.


Communal stand pipes

These are water lines and stands (with or without reservoir) constructed for several families where users fetch water from the communal stand and pay reasonable (usually cheaper) prices. The average cost of a Communal stand pipe ranges from 40,000 Birr to 50,000 Birr (2187 USD to 2732 USD). Depending on site condition and distance from the source, the cost could also go beyond the ranges indicated above. 


Group water taps

Water lines installed for 2 to 6 families in urban slum areas where group of beneficiaries use one water meter and pay the bills together through group saving mechanisms. The average cost of a group water tap ranges from Birr 1,200 to Birr 1,500 (USD 65 to USD 82).


Provision of Mosquito Nets

As malaria is one of the deadly diseases in the country, HFH Ethiopia has also tried to help families who live in malaria prone areas by providing mosquito nets. This simple service saves lives of many people and HFHE will remain committed to continue providing this service to families whose lives severely are threatened by malaria. The average cost for a mosquito net is USD 6.