Solving the Real Housing Crisis

Click each section to see the key steps to accessing adequate housing.
  1. Land

    Land

    The Problem

    People without secure land tenure are often also the most poor and vulnerable, and live with the threat of forced eviction.

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    What can be done?

    • Help families to understand their rights to land and gain secure title where possible
    • Encourage governments to fairly implement land laws
    • Work with communities and governments to improve living conditions in informal settlements, such as urban slums, and protect residents from eviction
  2. Services and Utilities

    Services and Utilities

    The Problem

    768 million lack access to safe water and 2.5 billion do not have adequate sanitation.

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    What can be done?

    • Improving access to safe water sources by building community wells, pumps and filtration systems
    • Access to toilets and hygiene training for communities, so households can start to adopt healthier practices
    • Involving the community in renovation of existing facilities including cleaning drains and repairing communal bathrooms and toilets
  3. Financing

    Financing

    The Problem

    Worldwide, half of the adult population does not have an account at a formal financial institution. Accessing finance to purchase a home is extremely limited. On average, only 3 percent of the population in developing economies has a mortgage.

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    What can be done?

    • Linking families to informal finance institutions that provide microloans to upgrade or repair their homes or start small businesses
    • Educate people in financial literacy and motivate them to save through community savings groups
  4. Construction

    Construction

    The Problem

    The demand for secure, decent housing is extremely high but remains unaffordable for many in developing countries. The high costs of land and building materials mean the urban poor build housing with cheaper materials which are not durable, making them even more vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters.

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    What can be done?

    • Encouraging the use of local, sustainable and affordable building materials
    • Offering technical assistance and training in safe construction methods
    • Upgrading existing homes, to be stronger and safer
    • Ensuring new homes are built to better withstand natural disasters
    • Community development
  5. Community Development

    Community Development

    The Problem

    People living in informal settlements experience higher levels of crime, violence and insecurity.

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    What can be done?

    • Ensuring that community members are active in planning and implementing improvements to their community
    • Organising and training community associations, and linking them with funding sources
    • Planning community facilities that are safe for children and adults alike, such as pre-schools, youth centres, and meeting places
    • Strengthening and working with community organisations to build trust and to enhance a higher sense of community spirit