Why Habitat for Humanity is needed
The world is experiencing a global housing crisis
- Worldwide, some 827.6 million people live in urban slums.1
- By 2020, it is estimated the world slum population will reach almost 1 billion.2
- About 50 percent of the world's population now live in urban areas.1
- Lack of clean water and sanitation claim the lives of more than 1.8 million young children every year.3
In the United States, 48.5 million people are living in poverty
Minimum wage is not keeping up with the rising cost of living and many workers struggle to afford decent housing.4
Decent, stable housing provides more than just a roof over someone’s head
- Stability for families and children.
- Sense of dignity and pride.
- Health, physical safety and security.
- Increase of educational and job prospects.
The transformational ability of good housing
- Clean, warm housing is essential for prevention and care of diseases of poverty like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, diarrhea, and malaria.5
- Children under 5 in Malawi living in Habitat for Humanity houses have 44 percent less malaria, respiratory or gastrointestinal diseases compared to children living in traditional houses.6
Housing must become a priority
- The percentage of people without access to decent, stable housing is rising.
- Increasing the housing supply across the globe is essential.
- Adequate housing is vitally important to the health of the world’s economies, communities and populations.
- If we are to succeed in the fight against poverty, we must support the expansion of housing both as policy and as practice.
Learn how Habitat is making a difference
- Program Milestones 2013
- Program Milestones 2012
- Program Milestones 2011
- Habitat for Humanity International’s annual reports
Additional resources on poverty housing
- 1UN-Habitat, State of the World's Cities 2010/2011, March, 2010.
- 2United Nations General Assembly, report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living and on the right to non-discrimination, August, 2012.
- 3UNIFCEF, Progress for Children: A report card on water and sanitation, September, 2006
- 4National Low Income Housing Coalition, Out of Reach 2013, March 2013
- 5Kissick,op. cit.
- 6Christopher G. Wolff, et al.,The Effect of Improved Housing on Illness in Children under Five Years Old in Northern Malawi: Cross-Sectional Study, BMJ vol. 322, 2001