Today is World Habitat Day – a day designated by the United Nations in recognition of the importance of adequate shelter for all. And this year’s theme is Housing Policies: Affordable Homes. Most people would agree that housing affordability is a huge problem pretty much anywhere you live. But an important aspect of the problem is often overlooked. It’s right beneath your feet.
Whether you own your home or are one of the 5.6 billion people, who lack proper documentation for the land on which they live, land rights are your foundation for adequate shelter. A conversation about housing policies and affordable homes cannot occur without discussing land.
We’ve partnered with Cadasta Foundation to develop a quick 10-question interactive survey for you to find out if you’ve #gotlandrights. Visit gotlandrights.com to take the survey and then take action to help more people around the world get land rights too.
Housing accounts for more than 70 percent of the land use in most cities. Yet, one of every five people around the globe lack access to adequate shelter. As a result, households are forced to operate in complex informal arrangements, making them vulnerable to displacement and unable to reap the social and economic benefits associated with security of land tenure. Secure land rights lead to higher earning, greater access to loans, and reduction in domestic violence, improved family health and educational improvement for children.
This World Habitat Day, I encourage you to think about the role of good land policy – or lack thereof – in housing around the world. Without land, there can be no housing and housing is the key to stability and opportunity. The more people who know this, the more accountable policymakers and decision makers around the world are.
This may feel overwhelming, but the Solid Ground campaign, our partners and people like you are helping millions of people access land for shelter by improving land policy and systems. But we haven’t realized our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. This is where you come in.
So join us in taking action and share the survey. By using your voice today – on World Habitat Day – to improve access to safe and secure land, you can help create the foundation for better housing.