Baan Por Pieng is a special program for housing the country’s poorest and most vulnerable families
In 2017, the Thai government launched a housing program for the country’s poorest citizens, urban and rural, called Baan Por Pieng (“Sufficient Housing Program”), in which 9,000 poor families (about 200 families per province) would receive a subsidy of 18,000 baht (US$ 554) to improve or rebuild their houses. The subsidy is quite small, though – not nearly enough to construct even the most minimal house in Thailand. So CODI used that insufficient subsidy as an opportunity to demonstrate a more community-managed and more collaborative way of addressing the housing problems of the poorest families.
The process began with a series of big meetings organized in each of the country’s 76 provinces, to which all the various community networks in each province were invited, to discuss the program and set plans. Then came a province-wide process in which the networks surveyed their own communities, identified their own poorest members and developed plans for housing them. The power to fix these housing problems was entirely with the communities, with assistance from their local and provincial authorities. Because the 18,000 baht subsidy wasn’t enough to complete any kind of proper house, the community networks were obliged to do a lot of leveraging and collaborating, to raise enough funds to build reasonable houses for those families. This leveraging happened on a national scale, with local governments, district authorities, provincial governments, local businesses, NGOs and all sorts of civil society organizations pitching in an additional 300 million baht (US$ 9.4 million), to complete the houses.
The program was so successful that in the first year alone, 10,370 housing units were built all over the country – 370 more houses than the target. The government followed up by increasing the grant for 2018 to 337 million baht (US$ 10.4 million), to subsidize another 15,000 houses.
Baan Por Pieng Housing Program Figures
(Figures as of May 2019)