Milady Almendares Orellana, a primary school teach in Cane, Honduras, reads to her 6-year-old daughter Maidy. Milady’s family is among the many, who have benefitted from a housing policy adopted almost a decade ago with a simple but bold goal: every Cane citizen living in a safe and stable home.

Over this weekend, decisions will be made that will influence priorities of governments around the world.

In September 2015, at a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, 193 countries endorsed the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals – known as the SDGs or Global Goals. This collection of 17 ambitious goals and 169 targets form a framework to address the global challenge of eradicating poverty. 

Over 240 indicators have been developed to measure the progress of each SDG, and they have been organized into 3 tiers. If an indicator is classified in Tier 1, it’s more likely governments will prioritize meeting that goal and target and data around it will be collected, monitored and analyzed. If it is classified in Tier 3, it’s not as likely. 

Habitat for Humanity is supportive of all the SDGs. With a goal ensuring housing needs are met even as cities expand and slum populations rise, we are calling out only specific goals, targets and indicators that have particular significance to the work we do in housing those in need. Housing, both in the informal and formal sectors, fosters strength, stability and self-reliance and is often at the center of key development challenges.

This is why we focus in on indicators such as 11.1.1 and 1.4.2.

SDG indicator 11.1.1, which measures the “proportion of urban population living in slums, informal settlements, or inadequate housing,” is already classified in Tier 1. We are particularly encouraged and appreciative that this indicator has already been elevated as critical to making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

However, without land, there can be no housing. Access to land lies at the heart of ending poverty. To ensure that governments prioritize access to land and accurate and disaggregated data is captured around security of tenure, we urge our network, partner organizations and supporters like you to highlight the importance of SDG indicator 1.4.2: “Proportion of total adult population with secure tenure rights to land, with legally recognized documentation and who perceive their rights to land as secure, by sex and by type of tenure."

Indicator 1.4.2 is currently classified as a Tier 3, but Nov. 11-4 the Inter-agency Expert Group on SDG Indicators – the United Nations agency responsible for the SDG indicators – is meeting to review SDG tier classifications.

Will you be a voice saying that land rights are vital to eliminating poverty?