Forty years ago, Habitat for Humanity was founded in rural Georgia, a state in the Southeast United States. The organization was founded on the belief that decent housing is a pathway out of poverty. Since then, Habitat for Humanity has grown to a global scale, working to improve the living conditions of families and communities in countries all across the world. While the people, homes, physical and political environments vary drastically from country to country, one common thread exists no matter where you are in the world: land. Land is the foundation for housing. Without access to land on which to build, rent, or reside, there can be no housing.
Six months ago, Habitat for Humanity and its partners did something bold. We launched a global advocacy campaign on access to land for shelter. The campaign was founded in our belief that in order to increase access to adequate and affordable housing, a necessary first step is to remove barriers of access to land. As it turns out, we are not alone in this belief.
In the past six months, twenty-seven countries from around the world have enrolled in the campaign. And the number continues to grow. In every country, Solid Ground is taking a unique approach, deploying a strategy tailored to the needs and culture of the region.
Habitat Hungary, for example, is using a video game to deepen understanding of housing policies and increase awareness of the need for affordable housing. In Guatemala, the Solid Ground campaign is changing local land policies one municipality at a time. Habitat Philippines is serving as a leading voice on national housing issues and mobilizing volunteers to advocate for the cause. In Trinidad and Tobago, where 1 in 5 people live in “squatter” conditions, the Solid Ground campaign is focused on increasing partnerships with other civil society organizations to advocate for housing subsidies and improve the transparency of legal processes to access land. This is just the beginning. Learn more about the work that the Solid Ground campaign is carrying out across the globe.
If you have been following the campaign from the beginning, you know that Solid Ground has an ambitious goal of improving access to land for shelter 10 million people around the world. The twenty-seven countries enrolled in the campaign to-date have set us on the right path towards achieving that goal. Yet, we still have some ways to go. You can help us get there.