Addressing the Pacific housing crisis

Samuela Bainikalou in his new home in Kalekana, outside Suva. Bainikalou, who is partially sighted, lives with his 72-year-old mother and school-aged son. Habitat for Humanity Fiji built the home, replacing a termite-infested and rotting structure that bore signs of damage from Tropical Cyclone Winston, more than four years later.

The authors of recent housing ecosystem assessments conducted in Fiji, Samoa and Tonga say that improving access to habitable, affordable and secure housing requires more widespread training in construction skills amongst women, financial literacy training and support, and strengthening of traditional community structures such as women’s committees (Komiti Tunama in Samoa).

The assessments were commissioned by Habitat for Humanity, conducted by local experts in the three countries and presented at the Pacific Housing Forum in Suva in early September.

In Samoa, the study found that those most . . .

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