Habitat for Humanity supports legislation that would make U.S. Foreign Assistance more effective by developing programs to increase access to affordable housing globally

U.S. House of Representatives introduces the Shelter, Land and Urban Management Assistance Act of 2011

WASHINGTON (June 14, 2011) – Habitat for Humanity International supports legislation introduced today in the U.S. House that would help increase access to affordable housing globally.

The Shelter, Land, and Urban Management (SLUM) Assistance Act of 2011, by Rep. Brad Miller (D - N.C.), would establish sustainable urban development as a major objective of U.S. development assistance strategy and reinvigorate programs that increase access to secure tenure, basic affordable housing, and essential services and infrastructure for the poor.

“Throughout the world, one in every six people currently lives in an informal settlement. That number will double in the next 20 years unless world leaders work to find solutions now,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “The leadership of Congress through the proposed SLUM Act is an important step toward meeting this worldwide challenge.”

If passed, the bill will also require cooperation among public and private aid groups to find innovative solutions to improving life in slums.

Habitat for Humanity International, in cooperation with a number of other key groups, was a driving force behind the creation of the legislation.

“The United States was once the international leader in promoting policies and investments that improved the lives of millions of slum dwellers,” said Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.). “However, the lack of a coherent U.S. policy addressing the growing challenges of global urbanization is undermining critical American investments in health care, education, and disaster recovery in developing countries.”

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 400,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 2 million people. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit Habitat.org.