A homeowner in her newly-retrofitted dining room
Build Change completed the retrofit of six houses, and expects to complete the final one for the first batch before the year ends! All the homeowners said they are grateful to Build Change for helping them secure a stronger house which will help ensure the safety of their family. Two of the homeowners, Cynthia, a single mother; and Daniel, a father of three whose wife works overseas, both expressed that they feel ready should the “Big One” happens. (The “Big One” is a major earthquake which is predicted to hit Metro Manila anytime). Cynthia and Daniel added that they feel great to see the fruit of their families’ labor to finally live in a safe and beautiful home.
Build Change is now working with the second batch of homeowners and have received deposits from eight families for us to conduct financial and technical assessments on their suitability for a retrofit. We have completed the financial appraisals and are currently working on the technical assessments. We expect to begin retrofitting early next year.
We continue our conversations with financing institutions and three would like to explore offering a home retrofit loan to their clients in partnership with Build Change – two microfinance institutions and one government housing loan provider. We also learned from these conversations that the loan products we are currently testing need to be modified to fit our target clients: the Futurefit Loan is aligned with commercial financing options but is not affordable for most low-income households; while there is a demand for the Pay What You Can Loan but it needs to be aligned with microfinance/socialized housing. We have made adjustments to our loan offerings, which will be trialed with the next batch of retrofits.
We also hosted an international Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) advocate and a team from Rockhopper TV in Pembo, Makati to see the retrofit project. Rockhopper TV is a US-based TV program which is currently working on a documentary about resilience and building back better. Rockhopper TV documented the stories of homeowners with completed and ongoing retrofits, as well as interviewed our builder trainer, Raquel Lagramada, who survived Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. Undersecretary Renato Solidum, Jr. of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Chief of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) also visited Pembo to learn more about the retrofit project.
Build Change is excited to start working on the new batch of retrofits and is looking forward to forging partnerships with financing institutions early next year. We will also continue our conversations with philanthropic organizations and other groups who might be interested to provide financial assistance in the implementation of the retrofit program.
A homeowner shows his certificate of retrofit