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What if natural disasters were no longer disasters? What if we could massively reduce deaths and GDP losses from earthquakes and typhoons? Housing should be safe: safe from earthquakes, safe from typhoons, safe from break-ins, and most importantly, safe for women and children. Three billion people will live in substandard housing by 2030. Global housing indicators are sliding backwards. Worldwide, homeowners struggle to access financing, governments struggle to enforce building codes, and rapid urbanization is driving precarious construction in oftentimes precarious locations. And because of climate change, typhoons are becoming stronger and more frequent. But it’s not the earthquake or windstorm that kills people, it’s the collapse of a poorly built building. This is a human-made problem. There is a human-made solution.
Build Change leverages financial incentives, efficient technology, and homeowner’s motivation to shift housing from deadly to safe by strengthening existing buildings. Build Change simultaneously overcomes all three barriers to adoption of Resilient Housing – money, technology, and people/political will – by working bottom-up and top-down: Money: Build Change and partners are scaling two financing models for retrofitting (strengthening) housing before disaster: public subsidies and private sector loans. Technology: Tech innovations are key to scale. Build Change is rapidly advancing technologies to universalize access to safe housing, speed up the process, and drive down costs. People/political will: someone has to want housing to be safe. Build Change understands what motivates homeowners to improve their homes, and works with governments to enforce and incentivize compliance with building standards. Build Change has proven the Resilient Housing model in the Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal and in Latin America – now it’s time to scale.