Artisan Training to Improve Housing Quality

Findings confirm connection between access to quality affordable housing and skilled labor

One of the key objectives of Habitat for Humanity’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter's project "Building Assets, Unlocking Access" was to work with financial service providers to develop a housing microfinance product that included nonfinancial housing support services as value-added services. In doing so, the project hoped to improve the use of the loan and to enhance the quality of construction for clients.

However, the organization found that financial service providers were reluctant to provide these housing support services directly because they did not have the expertise and capacity, and were also wary of the responsibility involved and potential legal issues that could arise. In addition, the Terwilliger Center identified capacity and knowledge gaps among masons that did not help low-income households achieve improvements with the desired quality levels.

In response to this, the Terwilliger Center designed the Artisanal Competency-Based Skills Assessment and Training to support the assessment and certification of skilled and competent artisans and to train them on soft skills. This brief highlights the core components of the program and examines their effectiveness and sustainability.

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