Why Habitat for Humanity is Needed

Habitat.org. The world is experiencing a global housing crisis.

About 1.6 billion people live in substandard housing and 100 million are homeless.(1)

Each week, more than 1 million people are born in, or move to, cities in the developing world.(2)

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.(3)

In the United States alone, 95 million people have housing problems. 
Including payments too large a percentage of their income, overcrowding, poor quality shelter and homelessness.(4)

Clean, decent, and stable housing provides more than just a roof over someone’s head.

Stability for families and children.

Sense of dignity and pride.

Health, physical safety, and security.

Increase of educational and job prospects.

The transformational ability of good housing.

Clean, warm housing is essential for prevention and care of diseases of poverty like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, diarrhea, and malaria.(5)

Children under five in Malawi living in Habitat for Humanity houses have 44 percent less malaria, respiratory or gastrointestinal diseases compared to children living in traditional houses.(6)

 Read more: http://www.habitat.org/how/why.aspx

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From The Web – Podcast: History of Philosophy ‘Without Any Gaps’

Holbein

Peter Adamson, Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at King’s College London, takes listeners through the history of Western philosophy, “without any gaps.” Beginning with the earliest ancient thinkers, the series will look at the ideas and lives of the major philosophers (eventually covering in detail such giants as Plato, Aristotle, Avicenna, Aquinas, Descartes, and Kant) as well as the lesser-known figures of the tradition.

Read & Listen: http://historyofphilosophy.net/home

 

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Gaia Vince – Slums and The Future of Cities

bbc.com – January 14,  2013 – by Gaia Vince

Such transformations are only possible when cities have strong independent governance with authority and finances to act. Urban planning and transport decisions are in many cases still managed at a national level. Many cities around the world often have little or no ability to tax citizens. It means that city councils and leaders have to beg national politicians for upgrades to sewerage, roads or changes to areas that once might have affected a few thousand people, but now affect millions.

Improvements are being made – some 230 million people have moved out of slum housing since 2000, for example. But whether the city of the Anthropocene will be environmentally sustainable depends on how places like Khulna evolve.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130114-slums-and-the-future-of-cities/3

About the author

Gaia Vince is a science writer and broadcaster who is particularly interested in how humans are transforming planet Earth and the impacts our changes are having on societies and on other species. She has visited people and places around the world in a quest to understand how we are adapting to environmental change. You can follow her adventures at www.WanderingGaia.com and on Twitter at @WanderingGaia.

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Kathleen Scanlon & Christine Whitehead (Eds.) Social Housing in Europe II – A Review of Policies and Outcomes

Published by LSE London, London School of Economics and Political Science

From the Preface:

This is the second book to be produced by a multidisciplinary group of housing
experts that was set up as a result of an initiative by a number of French academics
based at different Paris universities. The group was organised through
the GIS Réseau Socio-Economie de l’Habitat network, which receives support
from the PUCA (Plan Urbain Construction Amenagement, the Research Office
of the Ministry of Capital Works and Housing). Since publication of the first book,
Social Housing in Europe, the group has met three times. In November 2007 a
major international conference was organised in Paris, by the GIS. The papers
presented there, together with a great deal of further input by authors, form the
basis for this text. Since then the group has met in Vienna and in Dublin to discuss
a range of issues core to the continued development of social housing and
will work further on issues of both principles and policy over the next year. We
are extremely grateful for all those who have supported these meetings and for
their interest in ensuring the work can continue. (…) Read more

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Joshua Hammer – A Look Into Brazil’s Makeover of Rio’s Slums

Photo by Claudio Edinger

The Brazilian government’s bold efforts to clean up the city’s notoriously dangerous favelas is giving hope to people who live there – By Joshua Hammer – Photographs by Claudio Edinger – Smithsonian magazine, January 2013

Marcos Rodrigo Neves remembers the bad old days in Rocinha, the largest favela, or slum, in Rio de Janeiro. A baby-faced 27-year-old with a linebacker’s build and close-cropped black hair, Rodrigo grew up dirt poor and fatherless in a tenement in Valão, one of the favela’s most dangerous neighborhoods. Drug-trafficking gangs controlled the turf, and police rarely entered out of fear they could be ambushed in the alleys. “Many classmates and friends died of overdoses or in drug violence,” he told me, sitting in the front cubicle of the Instituto Wark Roc-inha, the tiny art gallery and teaching workshop he runs, tucked on a grimy alley in the heart of the favela.

Read more: Joshua Hammer – A Look Into Brazils Makeover of Rios Slums

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Rem Koolhaas – Lagos

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