Rebuilding for a better urban future

The official blog of UN-Habitat's response to Typhoon Haiyan

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UN-Habitat Core Houses Served as Emergency Shelter During Typhoon Hagupit

Children already “playing house” in their future homes.

Children already “playing house” in their future homes.

They all slept well. That was the first thing heard from many in the community when UN-Habitat Roxas field team visited their project sites one day after Typhoon Hagupit (known locally as Ruby) passed north of the island of Panay on Sunday, 7 December, barely over a year since Haiyan devastated the region.

Nearly 90 houses built under the Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements, a project by UN-Habitat and the Japanese and Philippine governments,served as emergency shelters, housing two to three families at times, protecting Continue reading


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Launched: Pilot House of Shelter Project in Roxas

With tremendous support from Japan, UN-Habitat and partners roll out the Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements project with the first completed corehouse in Roxas City, Philippines.

The morning culminated with the ribbon cutting of the pilot house. Photo: UN-Habitat

Inaugural house awaits its new owner. Photo: UN-Habitat

UN-Habitat Philippines, together with the Government of Japan, the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), and the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), launched the Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlement project on the sweltering morning of 7 August 2014, at the Don Conrado Barrios Memorial School Covered Court, Villa Carmel Village, Barangay Baybay, Roxas City in Capiz.

Emelia Doriendes (center) eagerly awaits ceremonial handing of the house key after ribbon cutting. Photo: UN-Habitat

Emelia Doriendes (center) eagerly awaits ceremonial handing of the house key after ribbon cutting. Photo: UN-Habitat

The project, with financial support worth $2.5 million from the Government of Japan, is designed to accomplish the following by end of this year to early next year:

  • Training of approximately 250 local semi-skilled artisans in disaster risk resilient housing construction
  • Construction of 610 corehouses by these local trained artisans for families throughout communities in the Visayan provinces of Capiz and Iloilo who were left homeless or whose houses were hazardous to live in after Typhoon Haiyan
  • Training of 4,000 families in the beneficiary communities on house assessment under the principles of disaster risk reduction
  • Support for a national campaign with SHFC and other government agencies on disaster-resilient housing techniques
  • Information, education, communication materials for national advocacy on people’s process for recovery and rehabilitation
  • Community action planning workshops
  • Infrastructure support for 20 communities.

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Estancia pledges support to UN-Habitat shelter recovery project

UN Habitat, together with its partner, Hilti Foundation, recently held a meeting with the town administrators of Estancia to discuss the Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlement Project, which identified a potential beneficiary community in Poblacion Zone 1 of the municipality.

Project Manager, Mr. Robert Deutsch, introduced UN Habitat’s plan of constructing typhoon-resistant houses for over 600 families in various parts of Western Visayas that were devastated by Yolanda. He also added that the project would also cover the training of local skilled workers on building robust shelters and the repair and improvement of key community infrastructures.  

Ms. Nerissa Piamonte discussed the integration of Hilti Foundation’s bamboo shelter model into the core house design. The organization strongly advocates the optimization of locally available and sustainable construction materials.

Standing in for Mayor Rene Cordero, the executive administrators, Ms. Ninfa Nacionales and Ms. Lina Acosta, expressed their gratitude to UN Habitat and Hilti Foundation, and assured that the municipal government will provide technical assistance wherever possible. Also present was Municipal Planning & Development Coordinator, Mr. Eugene Tentativa, Ms. Maria Socorro D. Ignacio (UN Habitat), and Ms. Ruby Rose Robas (Hilti Foundation).

Other potential beneficiary sites that were identified so far, in consultation with the Social Housing Finance Corporation, include Brgys. Guba, Ilawod, and Tacas in Pontevedra; Brgys. Bato, Baybay, Punta Tabuc, Tiza in Roxas City; and Brgy. Tanza Norte of Panay.


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UN-Habitat works on shelter design with partners in Roxas

UN-Habitat with partners sharing knowledge on bamboo construction


UN-Habitat and the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) Capiz chapter have been working together to develop a standard design for shelter that will be adopted in the community driven shelter recovery.

UN-Habitat initiated a number of meetings with UAP and the Hilti Foundation, where both organizations shared their knowledge on local construction practices.

The Hilti Foundation introduced their experiences on designing and implementing bamboo shelters in the Philippines, and helped initial shelter designs to be improved.

UN-Habitat is anticipating further discussions aimed at harmonizing different technical inputs into the final shelter design.

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VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENTS: We’re looking for a Documentation and Reporting Junior Officer in Roxas, Philippines

IMG_0762UN-Habitat Philippines is currently recruiting a Documentation and Reporting Junior Officer to join our team in Roxas, Philippines.

For full details about the posting, please click on the link below:

UN-Habitat Philippines – Documentation and Reporting Junior Officer

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FROM THE FIELD: An update on Roxas from Chrispine Ojiambo

In Roxas, the shelter situation for families affected by Typhoon Haiyan remains critical. And it is likely to worsen with the coming rainy season, as many houses are traditional light-weight structures built from bamboo in a non-engineered fashion.

UN-Habitat finished initial shelter assessments and came to the conclusion that a significant number of houses received minor, and substandard support in repairing. However, many houses still remain in the same state as after being destroyed by the Typhoon.

Roxas_chrispine1Mr. Chrispine Ojiambo, who was seconded to UN-Habitat by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NORCAP) to work on shelter issues in Roxas City, brings new light on the current state of shelter for affected families in this personal account:

My support to UN-Habitat, and its partners like Social Housing Finance Corporation SHFC has been to work diligently with project team and home owners associations in setting up the base to support poor families rebuild safer homes in our upcoming shelter recovery project, through tasks like familiarizing community association leaders on project scope and their role during implementation. Throughout this project phase we have worked in close coordination with shelter cluster–IV, to ensure that our project abide to shelter cluster guidelines, better resource distribution to beneficiaries by cluster stakeholders, among others. We have also worked in close collaboration with Roxas City housing department in sharing information to ensure our support reach deserving beneficiaries. At the moment we are also engaged in discussion with United Architects of Philippines – Capiz chapter seeking for technical collaborations in our shelter design and other technical input that relates to post Haiyan shelter reconstruction.


Mr. Ojiambo adds that he is whole heartedly touched by the suffering brought by the Typhoon, and concludes:

In contrast, I am happy to be part of the UN–Habitat’s team that is working hard to provide safe shelter solutions, and passing on technical knowledge to communities in order to improve their understanding of safe and better shelter reconstruction aimed at increasing community resilience to disasters. For this I thank UN–Habitat and Norwegian Refugee Council (NORCAP) for having me as part of the team implementing this noble course.

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(*Extended deadline – April 30*) VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENTS: Join UN-Habitat’s Haiyan Response Team in the Philippines


We are looking for eight new members to join our Haiyan Response Team in the Philippines. The deadline for applications has been extended to April 30th. 

Please find more information about each position on our country website: