A little over 15 years ago, the 1996 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project jumpstarted Habitat’s presence in Hungary. Since then, 1,500 families have obtained better housing through Habitat’s partnership. Still, poverty housing remains an urgent issue and recent foreclosure crises have exacerbated the problem.
Habitat Hungary is responding by developing a more vocal advocacy strategy to complement its construction efforts. At the end of 2011, Habitat celebrated its 15th anniversary with a daylong housing forum in Budapest. Experts, policymakers and business leaders joined representatives from more than 40 Hungarian nonprofits.
Taking a holistic, deliberate approach to housing needs has become a Habitat hallmark. By the end of the conference, Habitat Hungary had devised a strategy to petition the country’s government to do the same. The goal: convince Hungary’s political leaders to adopt a national policy to combat poverty housing and clarify avenues of assistance for low-income families.