Our History

Our History

1989 - Homeless International established.

1989 - Homeless International established.

Born out of the UK housing sector in response to the UN’s International Year of Shelter for the Homeless (IYSH). Homeless International was  dedicated to the alleviation of housing poverty in the global south.

1989
1990s – Building homes through partnerships, financial innovation and catalytic use of aid.

1990s – Building homes through partnerships, financial innovation and catalytic use of aid.

Housing and shelter projects were inherited from the IYSH Trust. The organisation funded shelter solutions and trialled experimental finance solutions. The pioneering Guarantee Fund enabled people living in informal settlements to access bank finance for the first time.

1990s
2001 – Investing for leverage: the launch of the ground-breaking CLIFF programme with support from the British and Swedish governments

2001 – Investing for leverage: the launch of the ground-breaking CLIFF programme with support from the British and Swedish governments

First established in India, CLIFF unlocked low-income housing at scale through community infrastructure partnerships with governments and private developers. Work expands across Africa and Asia.

2001
2008 – Expansion into other countries

2008 – Expansion into other countries

First Kenya but growing to 16 delivery partners in 15 countries by 2016.

2008
2010 Building sector-leading businesses and driving market participation.

2010 Building sector-leading businesses and driving market participation.

Investing in a growing network of affordable housing developers, innovating new housing and finance solutions.

2010
2013 – Awarded the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour

2013 – Awarded the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour

In recognition of the innovative and ground-breaking nature of the work.

2013
2014 – Relaunched as Reall to reflect the market-based approach.

2014 – Relaunched as Reall to reflect the market-based approach.

An innovator and investor in affordable homes with a network of impactful delivery partners across Africa and Asia.

2014
2019 – Building a home for human potential.

2019 – Building a home for human potential.

A global network with six priority countries to focus on the greatest opportunities to build affordable housing at scale.  

2019
2020 – Focus on building climate-smart, affordable housing and brokering solutions that unlock markets

2020 – Focus on building climate-smart, affordable housing and brokering solutions that unlock markets

As of 2020:  

Reached over 3,500,000 people on low incomes.
400,000 people with new or upgraded housing.
1.3 million people gained security from the thread of eviction.
1.1 million people benefitting from improved sanitation.

2020
2030 – Our goal:

2030 – Our goal:

To build an affordable homes movement that improves the life chances of 100 million people in urban Africa and Asia by 2030.

2030
106000
People with improved water
794000
People with improved sanitation
106000
total people housed

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