Everybody has the human right to an adequate standard of living, which includes the secure right to stay in a property: a security of tenure. However, the reality in slums is different. Slum dwellers often have to give way, for instance when a city’s authorities decide to build structures, such as new expensive apartment blocks for a city beautification, motorways or large developments from private investors. Slum dwellers have to live with the daily fear of being evicted from their homes. They face the fear of having to find a new place from one day to another if necessary, building a house all over again or, in the worst case, ending up homeless.
A decade ago, over 900 million people living in urban areas lacked security of tenure and this figure has not decreased yet. It affects the poorest, especially women and children. Over the next 30 years, the number of slum dwellers is expected to double. Public housing systems may fail to handle such numbers.
Who wants to invest in a home, which has no property right? Security of tenure is a key factor to improve people’s living conditions in informal settlements and helps to fight poverty.
Tenure security can help individuals’ gain access to work and education; therefore can promote economic growth. Furthermore, land titling and associated property rights can result in greater daily security and peace, as well as habitants’ ability to demand services or apply for loans.
Securing the right to a safe home for everyone - falls under these SDGs:
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. All countries and stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, are starting to implement this plan. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets demonstrate the scale and ambition of this Agenda, which balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental.