In situations where people need a roof over their heads, ZOA may engage in shelter support. This is often the case during emergencies, especially in the first six months. Through the provision of tents / tarpaulins or the upgrading of temporary camp facilities such as schools or churches, temples or mosques, ZOA tries to provide for more dignified living conditions. In the longer run, there is often a need for transitional shelter: a basic form of shelter that provides more protection from the elements, as well as privacy and safety. The design of these transitional shelters must be locally appropriate in terms of both materials used, and capacity to protect people.
Where possible, ZOA also strives to make the design either re-usable or expandable, providing the possibility to turn transitional shelter into permanent housing over time. Apart from providing transitional shelter, ZOA may also provide assistance in repairs to permanent houses. In principle however, ZOA will not engage in the construction of new permanent housing.