Saversville Homeowners Association Incremental Housing Project

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Focus Areas: Housing

This is an incremental housing project of the Saversville Homeowners Association, Inc (SHAI), Guinobatan, which started in 2010. The members of SHAI are survivors of flash floods and mudflows brought about by a “super” typhoon that hit Albay and nearby provinces in the country in December 2006. In August 2008, less than two years after the tragedy, the SHAI community was able to purchase and pay in full a two-and-a-half (2.5) hectare relocation site within the same municipality, in Sitio Magkasili, Barangay Mauraro, Guinobatan, through its savings and a loan from the Homeless People's Federation Philippines Inc. (HPFPI) Urban Poor Development Fund (UPDF).

Location: Saversville, Guinobatan, Philippines


The incremental construction of one hundred and seventy-seven (177) houses. To date, forty-five (45) houses have been completed. Core houses are constructed using conventional methods such as masonry and some of the houses have galvanised iron roofing. 

Community capacity:

The housing beneficiaries build their own houses after attending participatory housing design workshops, lot familiarization workshops and procurement of materials workshops.


Increasing the availability of community-generated and managed information systems allows for project activity to be scaled up. It also facilitates the process of profiling informal communities. 


The project has shown the viability of community-managed housing projects, demonstrating this to other stakeholders especially Local Governments. The project opened up opportunities for the Federation to engage with the Government in areas across the country, including Sorsogon City and Camarines Norte. In Sorsogon City, the Federation was given the chance to present its programs and projects and was able to convince the City Government to provide a relocation site to the coastal community of Talisay Shoreline Savers Association, Inc. (TSSAI). The TSSAI community currently faces the threat of eviction. The Federation drew up a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) which defines the role of the City Government, the Federation, and the Talisay community in the implementation of a community-driven housing project.

The project has also encouraged other communities to strengthen their savings bases. As a result, a further batch of Guinobatan disaster survivors have been able to purchase land; a safer site within Barangay Magcasili. 


SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed US$200,000.00

Resources Leveraged:

The Municipal Government of Guinobatan provided the main water pipeline going to the relocation site. This means they will also be providing water for the rest of the residents in the settlement or Barangay, in Magcasili.

The current municipal government also pledged it will provide power distribution lines and a power transformer to barangay Magcasili which includes SHAI.

The Engineering Brigade of the Philippine Army helped in the construction of SHAI’s access road via a macadam type road construction. 

State Subsidy:

Local Government gave support in the form of water supply, power supply material, and road networks. 

Market Generated Returns:

None to date.

Costs recovered from community:

As of June 2015, Php 11,410.00 (US$253.55 whereby US$1.00 = Php 45) had been recovered from the community. 

Sonia Cardinogara (+63) 2 455 9480

Project information updated: 04 March 2016

Project in depth

Detailed Information

This project sees the Philippines Alliance, Philippine Action for Community-led Shelter Initiatives Inc (PACSII) and Homeless People’s Federation Philippines Inc (HPFPI) assist survivors of flash floods and mudflows brought about by a typhoon in December 2006. SHAI was created in February 2008 and has one hundred and seventy-seven (177) household members. In August 2008 the SHAI community was able to purchase, and pay in full, a two-and-a-half hectare (2.5ha) piece of land to relocate to in Sitio Magkasili, Barangay Mauraro, Guinobatan. Once the land was purchased it was surveyed and a subdivision plan prepared. Members were allocated their lot portions measuring 100 meach via the drawing of lots.


The aim is to incrementally construct one hundred and seventy-seven (177) houses.


There is great potential for this project to be scaled up to the national level, given the general receptiveness of Local Government units within the Bicol Region to the concept of a community-driven housing initiative. In fact, within a year of the project commencing, communities and Local Governments in other provinces such as Camarines Norte, another disaster-prone area, were gearing up their savings and resources to acquire safe and alternative land and achieve security of tenure.


The project may not have had an impact on policy within the local authority yet, but the community-led processes it has promoted have set an example for other communities to emulate. The project has caught the interest of the Local Government in areas within the Bicol Region.


SDI Contributions:

Of the US$200,000.00 that SDI contributed US$20,000.00 was used to cover project-linked technical expenses. 

Resources Leveraged:

The community was able solicit help from the military and Local Government, which lent out a bulldozer, grader and the services of its operator to level the main access road to the project site. Moreover, costs that are supposed to be incurred by the SHAI community in the process of re-classifying their land from agricultural to residential have been waived by the Government.

Costs recovered from community:

Loan repayment strategies for the project include approaches that can help members augment their incomes, such as sustainable livelihoods, managed by communities or individual households. The SHAI collection committee is in charge of managing and establishing community structures to facilitate loan repayment. A sixty percent (60%) loan recovery rate is expected. 

Carcellar, N., Rayos Co, J.C., Hipolito, Z.O. (2011). Addressing Disaster Risk Reduction through Community-rooted Interventions in the Philippines: Experience of the Homeless People's Federation of the Philippines, Environment and Urbanisation, 23(2): 365 - 381. [Online]. Available:
Basilan, R.S. (2015). Citizens Help Build Houses. [Online]. Available:
HPFPI & PACSII. (2009). Report: ESSC Site Visit to HPFPFI Sites in Daraga, Camalig and Guinobatan, Albay Province. [Online]. Available:

Santos, L. A. (2015). Providing Low-cost Housing goes Beyond Building Four-Walled Structures. [Online]. Available:
Teodoro, J.I.E. & Rayos Co, J.C. (2009). Community-driven Land Tenure Strategies: The Experiences of the Homeless People's Federation of the Philippines, Environment and Urbanisation, 21(2): 415 - 441. [Online]. Available:
Vincentian Missionaries Social Development Foundation, Inc. (2001). Meet the Philippines Homeless People's Federation, Environment and Urbanisation, 13(2): 73 - 84. [Online]. Available:

Funding Information



Funding type:

Grant funding

Implementing Partners

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Philippine Action for Community-led Shelter Initiatives (PACSII) & Homeless People's Federation of the Philippines Inc. (HPFPI)