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Celebrating home this World Habitat Day

It is hard to imagine what it must be like living amid the devastation that has been wrought on countries such as Vanuatu and Nepal in the wake of large scale disasters which destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes, and left many families with nothing.

Our homes are so symbolic of all things we hold dear to us in our lives. Without it, our families would have nowhere to go. We would be left vulnerable and exposed. We would lose a piece of ourselves.

This World Habitat Day, we are celebrating home and everything it embodies. At Habitat, we often say a home is more than bricks and mortar. And it’s true. A home provides the foundation for the future. It proves a safe and dry place where families can seek shelter from the elements. With access to water and sanitation, they are healthier and are secure. Parents can start their own home enterprises and start to earn a steady and stable income so their children can attend school and have a brighter and more promising future. This leads to stronger communities that can grow and sustain themselves.

But the idea of a safe and decent home is out of reach for so many people around the world. That’s why this World Habitat Day we need your help to spread the word of the need for safe and decent housing.

What need is there for safe and decent housing?

  • Today, 1.6 billion people live in inadequate shelter around the world; 1 billion of those live in informal settlements. More than 100 million people worldwide are homeless.
  • About one in four people live in conditions that harm their health, safety, prosperity and opportunities.
  • By 2030, UN-HABITAT estimates an additional 3 billion people, about 40 percent of the world’s population, will need access to housing. This translates into a demand for 96,150 new affordable units every day and 4,000 every hour.
  • By 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population is projected to be living in urban areas, causing slums and unplanned settlements to swell.
    Estimates of homelessness in the United States vary from 1.6 million to 3 million people. Most studies conclude that about one-third of the homeless are children.

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