The Musonda family in front of their new home in Zambia built with the support of Habitat International and achieved through the Solid Ground Campaign.

Solid Ground

A global advocacy campaign to improve access to land for shelter

Land is the foundation for life.

The global need for adequate shelter is so great that we know we must engage in more than new construction and renovation to help us reach more families. That’s why in 2016, Habitat for Humanity launched Solid Ground, a global advocacy campaign to improve access to land for shelter. The four-year campaign, which committed to influencing land policies and systems, resulted in more than 12.4 million people with increased access to safe and secure land in over 40 countries around the world. 

The campaign helped improve access to land for shelter through four key areas:

  • Secure tenure: With freedom from fear of eviction, people are more likely to invest in their families, homes and futures. 
    Habitat demonstrated a model of successful policy reform one municipality at a time. After engaging civil society and local government in each municipality, they formed a diverse commission to review existing policies, develop recommendations, ensure approval, implement, monitor and evaluate. More than 200 of Honduras’ 298 municipalities passed housing policies, and Habitat Honduras continues to apply this model throughout the country.
  • Gender equality: Improving the property rights of women has a catalytic effect, elevating the standards of living for entire communities. 
    Habitat Zambia supported resident advocates in building relationships with municipal officials, resulting in the development of intermediary systems to issue land documents. Approximately 3,000 households, totaling over 15,000 people, received government-issued land record cards thanks to their efforts. 
  • Disaster resilience: Disaster resilience enables communities to better prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters, predictable or otherwise.
    Habitat Nepal influenced governmental implementation of land and housing policies around secure tenure, disaster resilience and gender equality. As a result of Habitat Nepal’s lobbying and advocacy efforts, local and federal governments allocated land and provided funding for more than 10,000 low-income, vulnerable, landless and flood-affected people.
  • Slum upgrading: The enhanced stability achieved through improved security of tenure, or living without fear of evictions, enables a cycle of investment that can improve slum settlements over time.
    Habitat Bangladesh helped 68,500 people living in informal settlements by collecting data that was used to improve family services.

Our successes

During the campaign’s four years, we saw exciting growth as members of our network from Argentina to Zambia led policy and advocacy initiatives, developing long-term, meaningful impact in communities around the world.

The experience and relationships garnered during the campaign will continue to support ongoing and future policy and advocacy efforts led by Habitat and our partners.

    World map with the 41 countries involved in Solid Ground highlighted in blue.

    Solid Ground was implemented by our national organizations and partners in more than 40 countries around the world, adapting to the specific needs of each location and focusing on our subthemes.

    Solid Ground by the numbers

    • More than 12.4 million people now have improved access to safe and secure land through policy and systems changes in 12 countries.
    • There are 41 countries where Habitat and our partners worked to improve the way people access land globally, ensuring more people have a decent home.
    • Habitat had 17 global campaign organizational partners working alongside us to change land policies and systems.
    • A total of 26 challenge grants were awarded to support the local and national policy and advocacy efforts of 18 national Habitat organizations.
    • Three policy priorities are reflected in the New Urban Agenda, the outcome document of Habitat III, the third U.N. Conference on Sustainable Urban Development — adequate and affordable housing, secure land tenure and community-led development.

    Noteworthy moments from each year of the campaign

    Resources

    Advocacy

    Habitat for Humanity does more than build. We also advocate to change policies and systems to improve access to adequate affordable housing. Learn how and how you can get involved.

    Read more

    International advocacy for housing

    Access to decent, affordable housing is essential to well-being, but billions of people lack an adequate home. Learn how Habitat for Humanity advocates for improved housing worldwide.

    Read more

    Contact us

    General inquiries: [email protected]

    Habitat for Humanity International
    Government Relations and Advocacy
    1310 L Street NW, Suite 350
    Washington, D.C. 20005