Today, October 1, is World Habitat Day! Designated by the United Nations more than 30 years ago to focus attention on the basic right of all people to have adequate shelter, we are celebrating all that we have achieved globally to increase access to land for shelter for all through the Solid Ground campaign. However, although we’ve already achieved so much, adequate and accessible housing remains unattainable for far too many.
For millions of people around the world, living without the protection and comfort of decent housing is an everyday and ongoing reality. More specifically, the inability to access land for housing results in even greater instability in achieving security. What does access to land mean for an individual? Without land, there can be no housing, and housing is central to achieving strength and stability for an individual and their family. Housing is at the foundation to reducing poverty. It has tremendous social and economic benefits that affect the health, education and stability of families and communities around the world.
Solid Ground, Habitat for Humanity International’s first global advocacy campaign, has had a global impact on land rights. Habitat national organizations and partners in 41 countries are actively implementing Solid Ground as an advocacy priority globally. Through the campaign, our Solid Ground participants have worked to change land policies on local and national levels giving more than 2 million people the potential for increased access to land. This impact has reached so many people living in different types of housing: from apartment renters in Argentina to land titleholders in Zambia, women, men and children have been impacted by the cumulative, community-oriented efforts of Solid Ground’s advocates.
The Solid Ground campaign has international reach, connecting regions and people across the world. One example is the collaboration and knowledge-sharing happening between Habitat for Humanity Guatemala and Habitat for Humanity Honduras on the methodology of policy change at the municipal level. Additionally we have seen partnerships form between US affiliates, like Habitat for Humanity Wake County, North Carolina and Habitat for Humanity Cambodia increasing capacity through research on land policy.
Solid Ground is a truly global campaign, and that means we need everyone—including you—to take action. This World Habitat Day, join us by signing our petition to tell decision makers of all levels that land policies must:
- Provide freedom from fear of eviction,
- Promote gender equality,
- Improve living conditions of slums, and
- Strengthen disaster resilience.
In recognition of World Habitat Day, donate your signature to the Solid Ground petition. Together, we can amplify local voices to demonstrate to decision makers and key stakeholders across the globe that land and housing are a priority.