The Publication of Habitat for Humanity International | June / July 2001
What is poverty housing?

What is simple, decent housing?
Just the facts
Cover Page

Notes from the Field

Founder's Message




Archive Issues

Just the Facts

  • Of the world’s 6 billion people, 2.8 billion—almost half—live on less than $2 a day, and 1.2 billion—a fifth—live on less than $1 a day.
    World Bank in “Attacking Poverty: Opportunity, Empowerment, and Security”

  • Nearly half of the world’s poorest people—44 percent—live in South Asia.
    International Fund for Agricultural Development

  • Women, especially younger women, experience more unemployment and for a longer period of time than men. Also, more women than men lack the basic literacy and computer skills needed to enter “new media” professions.
    United Nations in “The World’s Women 2000: Trends and Statistics”

  • The poorest 20 percent of the world’s population accounts for slightly more than 1 percent of global income, while the richest 20 percent of the population claims 86 percent of global income.
    General Jacques Diouf, director, Food and Agriculture Organization

  • The average income in the richest 20 countries is 37 times the average in the poorest 20—a gap that has doubled in the past 40 years.
    World Bank in “Attacking Poverty: Opportunity, Empowerment and Security”

  • "Don’t ask me what poverty is because you have met it outside my house. Look at the house and count the number of holes. Look at the utensils and the clothes I am wearing. Look at everything and write what you see. What you see is poverty."
    poor man in Kenya, from “Voices of the Poor,” World Bank PovertyNet

  • The ultimate goal of Habitat for Humanity is to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the face of the earth by building basic but adequate housing. All its words and actions are for the purpose of putting shelter on the hearts and minds of people in such a way that poverty housing and homelessness become socially, politically and religiously unacceptable in our nations and world. With more than 2,000 affiliates in 76 countries worldwide, Habitat for Humanity has built more than 110,000 houses and helped more than 500,000 people move into simple, decent housing.

  • Habitat for Humanity houses around the world are built according to “simple, decent and affordable” guiding principles. Simple: Habitat houses are modestly sized—large enough for the homeowner family’s needs, but small enough to keep construction and maintenance costs to a minimum. Decent: Habitat uses quality, locally available materials, and house designs reflect the local climate and culture. Affordable: The labor of partner families and volunteers, efficient building methods, modest house sizes and a no-profit, no-interest loan make it affordable for low-income people to purchase and maintain a Habitat house.

  • "…with God’s help… Habitat for Humanity will keep on hammering until sometime, before the 22nd century dawns, humanity can proclaim: No one, nowhere—no child, no family, no grandparent—any longer must live in unsafe, unhealthy housing."
    Millard Fuller, founder and president, Habitat for Humanity International

Reprinted from Habitat World Magazine, June/July 2001.
This article may not be reproduced in any form without permission.
©2001 Habitat for Humanity International


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