Habitat for Humanity calls for a focus on adequate housing at World Urban Forum

Medellin, Colombia (April 4, 2014) — Representatives from Habitat for Humanity International are joining more than 20,000 development experts from around the globe in Medellín, Colombia on 5-11 April to address the most pressing human settlement issues facing the world today – including rapid urbanization and its impact on cities and communities – at the World Urban Forum (WUF7).

This global forum is organized by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat) and will focus on cities as a critical component in solving the issue of inequality.

“Habitat’s goal has always been to see a world where everyone – and we mean everyone – has a decent place to live. We must prioritize addressing current slum conditions, preventing the growth of such conditions, and increasing access to land and transparency of property rights”, said Renee Glover, board chair of Habitat’s international board of directors.

All around the world, Habitat for Humanity works on projects that are focused on land access and adequate housing, without differences between people and groups, so that they can have access to conditions and opportunities that will enable them to achieve development and break the circle of poverty.

  • Bolivia: Through advocacy strategies that are inclusive and gender sensitive, Habitat helped enable a legislative change that benefits women in 6 million homes under the poverty line (31% are headed by single mothers), who were previously excluded by customary land practices. Currently, the law is being put into effect and women are being empowered to make sure they exercise their right to secure land tenure.
  • Colombia: In cooperation with UN-Habitat, Habitat for Humanity is piloting the use of a more flexible land information system that can handle various types of land rights and claims (Social Tenure Domain Model, STDM) in 11 communities in the Soacha municipality, Bogota. This project will support families with legal assistance for secure tenure, community-based infrastructure improvements, and housing improvements.
  • Brazil: In partnership with various coalitions, Habitat helped advance passage of a proposal to guarantee the Rights to the City and to Adequate Housing for people affected by urban interventions related to large sporting events. Additionally, provides legal support on secure land tenure and property rights to 1,700 families.

During WUF7, Habitat for Humanity will launch its second Latin American and the Caribbean forum “Adequate housing: a Foundation for Life in the Cities”, that will take place in Monterrey, Mexico, May 6-9, 2015.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty, Habitat has helped more than 4 million people (750,000 in Latin America and the Caribbean) construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes since 1976.