Arizona’s Affordable Homeownership Specialty PlateHabitat for Humanity, in partnership with organizations around the globe, has launched a five-year campaign named “Home Equals.” This initiative seeks policy changes at local, national, and global levels to enhance access to adequate housing in informal settlements, which are home to over 1 billion people.
The Struggles of Informal Settlements
With the number of people living in slums and informal settlements on the rise, it is essential to address their limited access to basic services such as clean water, sanitation, and electricity. Additionally, residents of these settlements lack land and property rights, living in constant fear of eviction. Climate change exacerbates their situation, with heightened risks of droughts and floods.
Recognizing Housing as a Catalyst for Development
Habitat for Humanity calls upon G7 member states to acknowledge housing as a crucial driver of development progress. By addressing housing needs in informal settlements, these nations can contribute to economic growth, improved health, and increased educational opportunities.
Unlocking Economic and Human Development
A groundbreaking report released in support of the Home Equals campaign highlights the substantial gains that could result from large-scale housing improvements in informal settlements. GDP and income per capita could increase by up to 10.5% in certain countries. Moreover, globally, over 730,000 lives could be saved annually, surpassing the number of lives saved through malaria eradication. The modeling also projects that approximately 41.6 million additional children could enroll in school, equivalent to one out of every six out-of-school children worldwide.
The Ripple Effect of Improved Housing The report suggests that the positive impacts of better housing conditions extend beyond the settlements themselves. Access to suitable housing, basic services, and protection from eviction or harassment leads to improvements in environmental, political, and care systems throughout entire societies. The Home Equals campaign acknowledges this “spill-over effect” and aims to foster progress on a broader scale.
Making a Difference Worldwide
The Home Equals campaign is already active in more than 35 countries. Habitat for Humanity and its partners are working diligently to effect change. Efforts in Brazil focus on collaborating with the new administration to ensure essential services like water and sanitation are available to residents of informal settlements. In Malawi, advocacy for a Disaster Risk Management Bill aims to enhance the resilience of homes in the face of climate change. Vietnam is working on sustainable policy solutions to support Vietnamese returnees from Cambodia in securing stable homes. Additionally, in North Macedonia, Habitat for Humanity is partnering with Roma communities to empower them with decision-making influence at the municipal and national levels.
Habitat for Humanity and the Home Equals campaign mark a significant step toward achieving housing equality for individuals residing in informal settlements worldwide. Through policy advocacy and amplification of marginalized communities’ voices, this initiative aims to create a more equitable future where adequate housing is recognized as a fundamental human right. Join Habitat for Humanity in supporting this crucial cause and let us collectively build a better future for all.
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Pledge your voice to support the one billion people living in informal settlements.