Following typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, the government of the Philippines organized massive housing reconstruction programs that are currently facing complex implementation issues. The present study investigated the mechanisms of three types of housing reconstruction programs (i.e. owner-driven on-site reconstruction, community-driven off-site relocation and contractor-driven off-site relocation) and discussed sustainability challenges by assessing the gaps between community needs and program performance, measured through the level of beneficiary satisfaction. The study conducted semi-structured questionnaire surveys with beneficiary households and key informant interviews with government officials and nongovernment organization representatives in March 2015. Results showed that on-site reconstruction was delayed due to insufficient and poorly implemented assistance schemes relating to reconstruction (e.g. materials, skills training), while off-site relocation was delayed by prolonged land acquisition and subcontracting issues. Disruption of critical infrastructure, such as water utility services, and lack of livelihood opportunities significantly affected the satisfaction levels of respondents with the recovery progress. The study also found that the no-dwelling-zone policy was not strictly enforced as houses were still being rebuilt in high-risk areas near the coast. Finally permanently relocated residents continue to struggle, especially with regard to their source of livelihood, as relocation sites are inaccessible and located away from employment opportunities.