CHF International

CHF International

CHF International is an international development and humanitarian aid organization that operates in approximately thirty countries per year. The non-profit organization was founded in 1952 as the Cooperative Housing Foundation and provided affordable housing for low-income families in rural and urban America. CHF began working abroad in the 60s, and today, the organization implements a variety of programs in the areas of global health, economic development, housing and infrastructure, emergency response, and democracy & governance.[1]


CHF International's mission is to "To be a catalyst for long-lasting positive change in low- and moderate-income communities around the world, helping them improve their social, economic and environmental conditions. We actively seek out the needs of the communities with whom we work, and undertake our work on the basis of those needs, employing local labor, using local materials and creating solutions that are appropriate to the region where they are implemented."

Development means improving the economic, social and environmental conditions of communities in developing and unstable countries. In practical terms development means, for example: increasing the prosperity of a country from the individual, family and community levels up; empowering people to participate in their own governance, and building the resilience of people against health challenges. Ultimately, the people best suited to decide what a community needs are the people of the community itself. This type of long-term, sustainable development leads to stability and security, reduces incentives to violence, reduces vulnerability to natural disasters, and decreases the amount of time it takes to recover from natural and man-made emergencies. These changes benefit not only the people of the community, but the whole world.


Originally CHF International was established as the Foundation for Cooperative Housing (FCH) in 1952, as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation seeking to help low- and moderate- income families in America and low-income urban neighborhoods to achieve improved economic standing and quality of life through the construction of affordable housing. Following their inception, they sponsored over 60,000 units of cooperative housing in 35 states across the US. After realizing that focusing on one area of development was limiting the companies growth, CHF International decided to expand globally during the 1960s. The organization has expanded to deal with disaster relief, environmental management, infrastructure rehabilitation, economic development, civil society development, and post conflict response.

Countries of Operation

As of 2008, CHF International is operating in:[2]

Areas of Practice

CHF International's areas of expertise fall into the following categories:[3]

Economic Development

  • Cooperative Development

Democracy & Governance

Micro, Middle Market and Mortgage Finance


Emergency Response & Transition

  • Income Restoration

Where populations have been deprived of traditional and familiar income strategies, food security practices, and employment opportunities, CHF International is a leader in designing and implementing community livelihood restoration strategies in such situations. CHF International provide help in market rehabilitation and reconstruction, and aid in agricultural inputs, and increased productivity through skills training and targeted subsidies—all of which help individuals to get back on their feet following the stress of destruction or displacement.

  • Relief Supplies

The organization understands the urgency of immediate needs in the aftermath of destruction or conflict. For that reason, CHF partners with organizations to provide emergency goods, such as clean water, blankets, food, toiletries and medicine to affected communities.

  • Shelter

In order provide both post-disaster relief and to promote long-term reconstruction and development, CHF International designs and implements shelter programs in the aftermath of emergencies. CHF works with communities to provide immediate aid, while simultaneously building their capacity to prepare against future emergencies. Not only does this provide immediate relief in the short term, but also provides labor to the locals and helps the economy in the long term.

Global Health

Urban Development

With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in India and Ghana., CHF is currently implementing the Slum Communities Achieving Livable Environments with Urban Partners (SCALE-UP) Program.

  • Haiti

On January 12th 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti causing the loss of more than 230,000 lives and massive destruction. With funding from USAID, CHF was able to launch a major recovery program that focused on large-scale rubble removal and recycling, cash-for-work and the construction of transitional shelters in affected communities. The organization has implemented the USAID-funded KATYE urban reconstruction program in the neighborhood of Ravine Pintade, in Port-au-Prince.


  1. ^ Clinton, Bill (2007). Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World, New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 978-0-307-26674-3
  2. ^ CHF Programs by Region,, retrieved 2008-02-28 
  3. ^ CHF Areas of Practice,, retrieved 2008-02-28 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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