Globally, there has been an increasing trend in how land and housing is financed– with strong market pressure to prioritise economic gain over the right to adequate shelter. Displacement and poor living conditions are therefore a growing risk or a reality for far too many people around the world. Our vision at World Habitat is for a world where everyone has a safe and secure home in a successful community.
Currently most countries only offer a range of housing models mostly centred around home ownership and rental solutions that are not always affordable to low-income groups, alongside a varying degree of public housing provision which often struggles to meet demand.
Additionally, the climate emergency is displacing communities living in fragile eco-systems at an alarming rate, as their areas and lives change to new global weather patterns. Millions are already migrating in search of new homes, and this number is only likely to grow.
Recognising the challenges, many communities are coming together to create housing models that challenge threats to their access to secure housing. Residents and their allies have learnt about community-led housing experiences that have emerged across the world and are now creating precedents in their own countries and regions.
At World Habitat we believe in the need for ground-breaking community-led housing models that increase the availability of long-term, affordable, and sustainable housing for low-income groups, and which also guarantee security of tenure. We recognise the importance of creating housing opportunities for those who need it most. We value solutions that influence policy and practice and create change to ensure greater social, economic, and environmental resilience.
With this in mind, our community- led Housing (CLH) programme focusses on achieving proof of concept that community-led housing can be developed and responds to housing challenges in three specific areas: informal settlements, former refugee camps, and the heavily owner-occupied housing markets of Central and South-Eastern Europe. To fulfil this, we’re collaborating with three community-led housing projects in implementing ground-breaking pilot projects. These are:
- Favela Community Land Trust project in Brazil with Catalytic Communities
- Community-led development with the Bihari community of refugees in Bangladesh with the Council of Minorities
- Pioneering cooperative housing development in Central and Southeastern Europe with MOBA Housing SCE and its members
We also develop international networks to support projects in exchanging skills and knowledge around community-led housing through the
- CoHabitat Network and its members
- production of key resources and events by the Center for Community Land Trust (CLT) Innovation such as ‘On Common Ground: International Perspectives on the Community Land Trust’ and the first editions for the International CLT Festival and World CLT Day.
Throughout our work, we recognise that access to land, finance and knowledge – along with developing a supportive policy environment – and key elements of developing community-led housing– are all essential aspects of our programme.