How a web-based tool is changing the way we tackle global housing needs

June 19, 2012

By Jonathan T.M. Reckford: CEO, Habitat for Humanity International  

With the launch of the Global Housing Indicators website, we at Habitat for Humanity are very excited that a holistic picture of worldwide housing policies is now available.  This one-stop portal for data, discussion, debate and dissemination changes how housing advocates, governments, researchers, nongovernmental organizations, practitioners, think tanks and others can assess the policy environment for adequate and affordable housing around the world.

Many partners and advisors have been instrumental in the development of the GHI and stand behind this significant project. The Rockefeller Foundation, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the International Housing Coalition, Cities Alliance and UN-HABITAT, along with forward-thinking people like Shlomo “Solly” Angel of New York University and Nic Retsinas of Harvard University, have made this project possible.

After many years of research, planning and collaboration, together we have developed the GHI as a tool to help us advocate for better housing policies. The GHI is also helpful in evaluating and measuring the policies that influence housing opportunities—especially for the poor.

Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is to have a world where everyone has a decent place to live. However, without the ability to live free from the fear of eviction, without access to finance and other resources, without adequate infrastructure and without incentives to build appropriately and affordably, millions of families worldwide will remain poorly housed. The Global Housing Indicators provide evidence for action—a basis for citizens and scholars alike to engage with national and local officials to embrace policies that work and to change those that impede progress.

The GHI focuses on five policy areas including property rights; housing finance; subsidies; infrastructure and regulations. Visitors to GlobalHousingIndicators.org can search by sector and by location and can develop custom reports. 

You are invited to explore this site, provide feedback, share insights and join us in becoming better advocates. My hope is that you are as excited about the possibilities now available through GHI as I am. More importantly, though, I hope that this resource will truly change the way we address housing needs around the world.  

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