The world is experiencing a global housing crisis.
• About 1.6 billion people live in substandard housing and 100 million are homeless.
• Each week, more than 1 million people are born in, or move to, cities in the developing world.
• One billion people (32 percent of the global urban population) live in urban slums.
• If no serious action were taken, the number of slum dwellers worldwide would increase over the next 30 years to nearly 2 billion.
• By the year 2030, 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. (UN-HABITAT: 2005)
• One out of every three city dwellers – nearly a billion people – lives in a slum and that number is expected to double in the next 25 years. (Slum indicators include: lack of water, lack of sanitation, overcrowding, non-durable structures and insecure tenure.) (UN-HABITAT: 2006)
• As much as 70 percent of the urban housing stock in sub-Saharan Africa, 50 percent in South Asia, and 25 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean is of poor quality and not in compliance with local regulations. (Kissick, et al: 2006)
Why is housing an important issue?
Proper shelter, however, provides a transformative foundation on which families can begin to look beyond the poverty barriers that hold them back. Habitat for Humanity has seen the positive impact safe, solid shelter can have on children and their parents. With proper flooring and ventilation, with access to clean water and improved sanitation, low income children play and sleep in a cleaner, healthier environment.
We know that decent shelter alone will not solve every problem poverty imposes, but it does provide a foundation on which families can overcome some of the health risks associated with substandard housing.
Housing Crisis in India
The world’s largest democracy, India has seen rapid economic growth and made progress toward achieving most of the Millennium Development Goals. But poverty remains a major challenge though it is declining steadily but slowly. Government and World Bank data showed the national poverty rate as having fallen from 37 percent in 2005 to about 32 percent in 2010. More poor people live in the rural areas than towns and cities, according to the World Bank.
India faced a housing shortage of nearly 74 million housing units by the end of 2011. The majority of the housing shortfall is in the rural areas. One in every five rural dwellers lives in a kutcha home (a structure made of mud, thatch, grass or other non-lasting natural materials). In urban areas, the poor can be found living under bridges, on pavements, train tracks, highways and canals as well as in crowded slums.