Everybody has the human right to a standard of living, which includes the secure right to stay somewhere: in other words, security of tenure. But the reality in slums is different. Slum dwellers often have to give way, for instance when a city’s authorities decide to build structures like new expensive apartment blocks for a city beautification or a dam or when they give out mining rights for private investors. Slum dwellers have to live with the daily fear of being evicted from their homes. They face the fear of finding 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, more than 900 million people living in urban areas lacked security of tenure and there has been little change since. It affects the poorest, especially women and children. In the next 30 years, the number of slum dwellers is expected to double. Public housing systems may fail to handle such numbers.
And who wants to invest in a home, which isn’t safe? Security of tenure is a key factor to improve people’s living standards in the informal settlements and it helps to fight poverty.
Tenure security can help individuals’ access to work and education, it 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.