October 2nd is World Habitat Day, which is a day to reflect on the basic right of adequate shelter for all. This year’s theme is Housing Policies: Affordable Homes, which is championed by United Cities and Local Governments and the United Nations’ Make the Shift campaign. This campaign seeks to change the way the general public views housing. The aim is to shift the way housing is viewed as a commodity, to a basic human right. The lack of affordable housing is often a force of inequality and exclusion amongst people. If housing was accessible to all, it would be a uniting force instead of a dividing force.
World Habitat Day also marks the start of Urban October, a time to reflect on the state of cities and towns, and the right to housing. It is also a time to promote sustainable development that guarantees affordable housing for all. This July, world renowned architect Shigeru Ban signed an agreement to design and construct 12,000 new homes in the Kalobeiyei refugee settlement site in Northern Kenya. The 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize winner will be building the houses out of local eco-friendly materials. The UN-Habitat project coordinator, Yuka Terada, stated that this project is an acknowledgement of the need for more sustainable housing for refugees, as the average displaced person spends 16 years living in temporary shelter.
The Aid and Development Forum will host the 3rd Aid and Development Africa Summit on 27-28 February 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya. The Summit will unite humanitarian and development leaders, decision makers and advisors committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region. Learn more about the Summit here.
Join in on World Habitat Day by using the hastags #MaketheShift and #HabitatDay
Learn more about World Habitat Day here.