Habitat for Humanity - Global Village - Portugal | Habitat Global Village Canada

Habitat for Humanity Portugal

        Contact information
HFH Portugal
Avenida da Liberdade nº 505, 2º
Braga 4710-251

Phone: +351 2215795950
Fax: +351 22157959529

        Web site

        Habitat's Work in Portugal
New families served this year*: 2
Total homes constructed/rehabilitated: 22
House sponsorship cost: US$52,910


Rosa Coelho praises God that she no longer has to live in the shack visible through the window behind her in Cunha, Portugal.


Whirlpool and WTA volunteers on the site of a Women Build.


Emotional homeowner family during their home dedication.


Habitat homeowner happily hugging two Whirlpool volunteers after a fulfilling day of work.

Housing Need

One of the first countries to join what became the European Union, Portugal has become a diversified and increasingly service-based economy during the past two decades. Still, housing remains a major concern of poor Portuguese families, with 65 percent of them living in dilapidated housing and 8.5 percent in shacks.

Poverty housing in Portugal is spread throughout the country, with two distinctive kinds of housing, typified in the interior by houses with a small orchard that hides substandard housing conditions and in the big cities by shacks. Since the 1970s, Portugal has been the destination for immigrants from former Portuguese colonies and Brazil and, more recently, for immigrants from former Soviet Union countries. The need for housing is growing, especially in the urban areas of the country.

Habitat for Humanity in Portugal

Concerned about poverty housing in Braga, Portugal, volunteers formed a Habitat for Humanity affiliate in Portugal in 1996. Two groups of international volunteers and local volunteers helped to build the first Habitat house in the town of Vieira do Minho in 1999. The following year, HFH Braga started to build 12 homes in the town of Palmeira and completed another for a family in Cunha.

Although there was still a great need for simple, decent homes, HFH Braga struggled unsuccessfully to find more land on which to build. So, in 2002, it began renovating existing houses. Homes are made of traditional Portuguese materials: bricks, red roof tiles, green shutters on the windows, and ceramic tiles inside the houses. They have two or three bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and bathroom and are between 66-108 square meters. Mortgage repayments are an average of US$120 monthly over 25 years.

Habitat for Humanity Portugal helps families through building new houses on family-owned land as well as renovations of houses.

Global Village

The Braga affiliate in Portugal is a lively example of a highly effective Global Village host program. With more than 20 teams hosted in one location, the program attracts the enthusiasm of over 300 volunteers every year.

Braga build events have attracted international schools from Switzerland, Norway, France and Austria, and European and U.S. corporations such as Whirlpool and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. International churches and women’s associations have also found Braga to be a prime building location. In addition, local students are showing their commitment to improving the communities in which they live, and strong school-Habitat partnerships have been built with schools in Braga, Lisbon and Porto.

PDF version of this country profile


PDF version of the Global Village “Blueprint for Adventure” brochure

Habitat Highlights

• Partnered with a municipality to rebuildrehabilitate houses for families in need

• Global Village teams describe their trip to Braga as “wonderful experience.”

•Good base of local volunteers that support the program, even though Portugal does not have a volunteer culture.

• Built first wheelchair accessible HFH home for a disabled homeowner.

*Number of new families served includes families benefiting from new houses, rehabilitations, repairs, and technical, finance and other services in the year to June 30.