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Global Housing Indicators provide a new perspective on adequate and affordable housing

June 18, 2012

WASHINGTON (June 18, 2012) – Habitat for Humanity International, the Inter-American Development Bank and UN-HABITAT today unveiled the Global Housing Indicators during an event at the National Building Museum.

Years in the making, GlobalHousingIndicators.org is an extensive web-based assessment tool that includes information on the policies and practices under which housing around the world is owned, rented, financed, subsidized, serviced, regulated, planned, and built. The Indicators project grew out of the recognition among housing experts that a standard format was needed for collecting and analyzing housing policies across cities and countries.

“We see the development of the Global Housing Indicators project as a powerful tool to help advocate for better housing policies,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “Our vision at Habitat is to have a world where everyone has a decent place to live. However, without the freedom to live free from the fear of eviction, without access to finance and other resources, without adequate infrastructure and without incentives to build appropriately and affordably, millions of families worldwide will remain poorly housed.”

“This initiative is a great contribution to the fulfillment of our mission in the Latin American and Caribbean region,” said Vicente Fretes, Inter-American Development Bank Chief of the Fiscal and Municipal Division.

Relatively few housing policy indicators exist. Some indicators collect information about one aspect of housing policy such as property rights, while others focus on finance in the formal, developed real estate sector. Still others are data collections of housing conditions.

The GHI are different because they consider housing policy holistically by focusing on property rights, infrastructure, housing subsidies, housing finance, and regulations. Nearly 25 cities are expected to be evaluated using the new indicators by December 2012.

Providing evidence for action, the GHI create a basis for advocates to engage with national and local officials to embrace policies that work and to change those that impede progress. GlobalHousingIndicators.org is a one-stop portal for data, discussion, debate and dissemination and allows visitors to compare housing data by location or by subtopics.

“Too many people today live in fear of eviction with little knowledge of their rights as tenants or land owners,” said Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat. “The Global Housing Indicators provide an important addition to our tool kit in improving security of tenure for the world’s most vulnerable people and promoting adequate shelter for all. Under UN-Habitat’s World Urban Campaign we are committed to working with key partners, such as Habitat for Humanity, to provide such tools where they are most needed.”

Standing behind the GHI is a consortium of partners led by Habitat for Humanity
International and including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the International Housing Coalition, Cities Alliance and others. You can learn more about the GHI at GlobalHousingIndicators.org.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 500,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.habitat.org, or follow us at www.facebook.com/habitat or at www.twitter.com/habitat_org or join Habitat’s blog community at www.habitat.org/blog.

About the Inter-American Development Bank
The IDB is the main source of multilateral financing and expertise for sustainable economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Established in 1959, the IDB is the largest source of development financing for LAC, with a strong commitment to achieve measurable results, increased integrity, transparency and accountability. Besides loans, the IDB also provide grants, technical assistance and do research to its 48 member countries, including 26 LAC borrowing members, who have a majority ownership of the IDB.

About the World Urban Campaign
The World Urban Campaign is a global partnership designed to promote a positive vision for sustainable urbanization and place the urban agenda at the highest level in development policies. Coordinated by UN-Habitat, the Campaign’s mission is to achieve these objectives by engaging and mobilizing partners around the world from every walk of life. While civil society organizations, the private sector, policy makers and professionals can join the Campaign, individuals are encouraged to contribute through I’m A City Changer, a global movement to share and spread positive initiatives that can make a difference in cities. To find out more visit www.unhabitat.org/wuc and www.imacitychanger.org

UN-Habitat is the United Nations’ agency for human settlements and sustainable urban development. It promotes timely and realistic planning for cities and the right to adequate shelter for all.

About Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 500,000 families by building and improving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. An estimated 17,000 of these families are in Europe and Central Asia, where Habitat has been active since the mid-1990s. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.habitateurope.org.