The Build Change Guide to Resilient Housing

An Essential Handbook for Governments and Practitioners

About the Guide

By 2030, UN-Habitat estimates that 40% of the global population will not have access to adequate housing. Investment in better housing must be prioritized if we are to protect people’s health and well-being and better withstand future crises. Such investment can go even further when we recognize that most people do not need new homes—they need better, more resilient homes—and that the majority of housing can be improved significantly through relatively simple, cost-effective solutions that already exist.

The Build Change Guide to Resilient Housing: An Essential Handbook for Governments and Practitioners consolidates Build Change’s experience developing home improvement programs in 24 countries since 2004. It is designed to support governments, funders, and practitioners with comprehensive guidance and practical tools to carry out successful resilient housing programs at scale. Build Change’s work has proven that resilient housing initiatives can be transformative and produce permanent change: they can save lives, protect the vulnerable, create jobs, spur local economies, and provide a cost-effective and long-term solution to the qualitative housing deficit that countries throughout the world are experiencing today.

Contact Us

For all queries relating to The Build Change Guide to Resilient Housing, please email or contact us through any of our social media channels.

Guide Launch Event

The global launch of The Build Change Guide to Resilient Housing was held on October 4, 2021, with experts from across the US and the global housing community.

On October 5, 2021, the Asia regional launch showcased how this resource can be used in a variety of country contexts, highlighting expertise from across Asia, including Indonesia, the Philippines, and Nepal.


Part 1: The Resilient Housing Moment
1.1 The Urgent Opportunity for Better Housing
1.2 What Do We Mean By Resilient Housing ?
1.3 Resilience Through Retrofitting
Part 2: How to Change Housing Systems: The Build Change Way
2.1 The Foundations of Our Model
2.2 Our Theory of Change: Overcoming Barriers of People, Money, and Technology
2.3 The Resilient Housing Ecosystem Assessment Tool (RHEAT)
2.4 Guiding Principles: Learn, Cooperate, Innovate
Part 3: Case Studies
3.1 Examples of Resilient Housing Programs
3.2 Colombia: Prioritizing Structural Improvements for Existing Homes Through a National Housing Program
3.3 Nepal: Using Technological Innovation to Enable Post-Disaster Retrofitting at Scale
3.4 Philippines: Developing Home Improvement Microfinance Products to Increase Homeowner Participation
3.5 Dominica: Building a Management Information System for a National
Housing Recovery Program
Part 4: Operational Manual
The Four Stages of a Resilient Housing Program
Stage 1: Initiation
Stage 2: Planning
Stage 3: Implementation
Stage 4: Closure
Part 5: The Road to Resilient Housing in Colombia
5.1 The Housing Deficit in Colombia
5.2 Structural Home Improvements: A Response to the Qualitative Housing Deficit
5.3 Progress Toward Resilient Housing in Colombia
5.4 Lessons Learned
5.5 An Overview of the Casa Digna, Vida Digna Program
Appendix 1 Common Housing Types and Vulnerabilities
Annex A The Resilient Housing Ecosystem Assessment Tool (RHEAT)
Annex B Common Housing Typologies, Their Deficiencies, and Retrofit Solutions
Annex C Building Standards: Structural and Habitability
Annex D Survey and Interview Form Examples
Annex E Examples of Experimental Testing
Annex F Examples of Preliminary Designs and Costs
Annex G Examples of Design and Construction Documents