International Statistics and Research
According to the authors of a recent report prepared for the World Urban Forum in Vancouver, "Improving conditions and addressing the global housing crisis should be a high priority for national governments and international donors, but, for reasons that are not clear, it is not… In many countries around the world, opportunities to achieve economic, social, and civic development goals through housing-related initiatives are being missed."
- Currently in the developing world, only about 30% of land is regulated by some form of land registration/recordation system (UN-Habitat, 2012).
- In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 60% of city residents live in slums and this is directly linked to the inability of the urban systems to scale up conventional approaches (UN-Habitat, 2012).
- Adequate housing was recognised as part of the right to an adequate standard of living in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (UN-Habitat, 2009).
- By the year 2030, an additional 3 billion people, about 40% 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 (UN-Habitat, 2005).
- The World Bank has noted that a significant increase of investment in shelter and related infrastructure is necessary to meet the needs of the world’s growing population. Yet since the mid 1990s only 10% of its shelter lending has gone to support low-income housing (World Bank, 2006).
- One out of every three city dwellers – nearly a billion people – lives in a slum (slum indicators include: lack of water, lack of sanitation, overcrowding, non-durable structures, and insecure tenure) (UN-Habitat, 2006).
- More than 90% of slums are in the developing world where urbanisation has become synonymous with slum formation (UN-Habitat, 2006).
- Every week, more than a million people are born in, or move to, cities in the developing world. As a result, the urban population of developing countries will double from 2 to 4 billion in the next 30 years (Kissick et al., 2006).
- Across the globe, an average of one in every three city residents is living in inadequate housing with none, or few, basic services. In many sub-Saharan African cities, the slum population accounts for over 70% of the urban population (UN-Habitat, 2006).
- UN-Habitat has reported that because of poor living conditions, women living in slums are more likely to contract HIV/AIDS than their rural counterparts, and children in slums are more likely to die from water-borne and respiratory illness (UN-Habitat, 2006).
- More than 14 million refugees and internally displaced people live in tents or other temporary shelters (Kissick et al., 2006).
- As much as 70% of the urban housing stock in sub-Saharan Africa, 50 percent in South Asia, and 25% in Latin America and the Caribbean is of poor quality and not in compliance with local regulations (Kissick et al., 2006).
- More than 20% of the world’s population struggles, on a daily basis, to stay in houses or on land where they live and more than 80% of the world’s population does not have legal documentation of their property rights (Shelter Report 2008, HFHI).
- Children under five living in Habitat for Humanity houses in Malawi showed a 44% reduction in malaria, respiratory or gastrointestinal diseases compared to children living in traditional houses. The effect of improved housing on the health of young children was as high as that of water and sanitation programmes (Wolf et al., 2001).
- Housing construction, especially in low-income countries, creates job opportunities for migrants to cities and stimulates the creation of small business. The titling and registration of land occupied by informal settlements allows those residents to access credit products thereby helping to unlock fixed capital for productive investment (Kissick et al., 2006).
- Housing wealth is more equitably spread throughout society than other forms of wealth. Housing formation generates non-housing related expenditures that help drive the economy (Kissick et al., 2006).
- Investing in housing expands the local tax base (Kissick et al., 2006).
- Communities with transparent systems to meet and sustain basic housing needs are more likely to build the trust and social cohesiveness on which democracy and development are founded (Kissick et al., 2006).