World Habitat Day

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On World Habitat Day Reall believes the 1.2 billion people without adequate shelter aren’t a problem that needs solving, they’re a future that needs unlocking

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Right now, there are 1.2 billion people without somewhere decent to call home. This number is greater than the entire population of China. This often means no electricity, no running water, no toilet and the threat of indiscriminate evictions are ever-present. Unless something changes, by 2030 that figure will stand at over three billion people. The vast majority will be in Africa and Asia.

Reall believes that these 1.2 billion children, women and men aren’t a problem that needs solving, they’re a future that needs unlocking. And how we respond determines what our collective future looks like.

One of humanity’s greatest opportunities

The affordable housing crisis is one of humanity’s greatest challenges. It is also one of humanity’s greatest opportunities.

Reall is an innovator and investor in affordable homes. We are building an affordable homes movement which will improve the life chances of 100 million people in urban Africa and Asia by 2030. Enabling people on a low income to buy their own home not only breaks the poverty cycle, it triggers many social and economic multipliers.

Unimaginable human potential

We do this because affordable homes are not only a fundamental human right, but they unlock unimaginable human potential to shape a future of gender parity, climate resilience, renewable energy and socio-economic justice.

The global affordable housing challenge is also untapped, with a $700 billion annual marketplace, equivalent to the economy of Switzerland. For example, building two million new affordable homes in India will create over 25 million jobs and an income increase of at least $25 billion, equivalent to about 1% of India’s annual GDP.

The challenges are interconnected

We believe humanity’s greatest challenges are interconnected, and affordable homes can impact them all. Building homes that have decent toilets and washing facilities means for every £1 spent on sanitation has a return of £5.50 from increased productivity and lower health care costs.

It also frees women from the time-consuming burden of collecting water. The impact of women being able to fulfill their true economic potential represents a GDP increase of $28 trillion, almost 1.5 times the economy of the US.

The right thing to do

The provision of decent, quality housing can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a result of using more energy-efficient cooking, lighting, ventilation and insultation.

Building a home for human potential isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. Affordable homes hold the key to a more secure and just world for us all.

 

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