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Housing need exists all around you. -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

Housing need exists all around you.

Sixteen-year-old Lubabalo Ngqomashe and his younger brother prepare for another morning in the Cape Town, South Africa, shack that their family calls home. Photo by Tahila Mintz


It’s families living in dilapidated or makeshift shelters, with patchwork walls and poorly sealed windows and doors. Children growing up in cramped spaces that let in the cold and keep out the light. Mothers, fathers, grandparents, cousins crowding too much life into too few rooms.

It’s living in a rundown apartment whose rent increases are as unpredictable as the streets all around. Or tenuously settling on land you don’t own in order to be close to available work. Or watching a disaster devastate your community.

It’s not being able to keep your house warm, not having regular access to clean water, not knowing “home” as a place of safety and joy.

It’s everywhere — in small towns, smaller villages, big cities, your city.

To fully understand the housing need that exists in communities around the world is to fully appreciate the urgency of Habitat’s work.

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  • The National Low Income Housing Coalition has determined that 95 million Americans live in overcrowded or severely inadequate conditions, or pay too much for housing. That’s nearly one-third of the U.S. population.
  • More than 10 million people worldwide die each year from conditions related to substandard housing, unsafe water and poor sanitation, according to a United Nations’ Global Report on Human Settlement. That’s more than 1,100 each hour … nearly 20 per minute.