Overview

Everyone has a fundamental human right to housing, which ensures access to a safe, secure, habitable, and affordable home. UN-Habitat places affordability, sustainability and inclusiveness of the housing sector at the core of the urbanization process to ensure access to adequate housing for all.  Housing is more than just a roof; it’s the opportunity for better lives and a better future.

The Challenge

By 2030, UN-Habitat estimates that 3 billion people, about 40 per cent of the world’s population, will need access to adequate housing. This translates into a demand for 96,000 new affordable and accessible housing units every day. Additionally, an estimated 100 million people worldwide are homeless and one in four people live in harmful conditions that to their health, safety and prosperity.

Access to housing is a precondition for access to employment, education, health, and social services. In order to address the current housing challenges, all levels of government should put housing at the centre of urban policies by placing people and human rights at the forefront of urban sustainable development.

Learn more about the Housing For All campaign and housing rights.

Impact

30 countries
prevented forced evictions through support from UN-Habitat in partnership with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
1,600
Estate Worker households living in substandard housing in Sri Lanka benefitted from basic infrastructure facilities for houses that they constructed using a people-centered community-driven approach.
43 countries
formulated and implemented improved housing policies based on technical advice from UN-Habitat.

News and Stories

Highlighted publications

Proceedings
Expert Group Meeting on Affordable Housing and Social Protection Systems for All to Address Homelessness (Nairobi, 22-24 May 2019): Proceedings
Policy and Strategy
The role of land in achieving adequate and affordable housing
Tools and Guidelines
Alternative solutions to Forced Evictions and slum demolitions
Tools and Guidelines
The Human Rights in Cities Handbook Series: Volume I: The Human Rights-Based Approach to Housing and Slum Upgrading
Policy and Strategy
Housing at the Centre of the New Urban Agenda
Technical Report
The Right to Adequate Housing for Persons With Disabilities Living in Cities

Donors and partners

UN-Habitat supports all levels of government in formulating and implementing progressive sector reforms and policies that contribute to the creation of inclusive and affordable housing for all. We provide our expertise to support the sound analysis of the housing sector and, in particular, the review of key legislation affecting affordable housing provision.

Since 2002, UN-Habitat works with OHCHR on the United Nations Housing Rights Program (UNHRP), which supports governments, civil society and National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in advancing the right to adequate housing. UN-Habitat also collaborate closely with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing on forced eviction prevention and housing rights advocacy.

Together with UN Environment, UN-Habitat also works on the Sustainable Buildings and Construction Programme (SBC) which aims to promote resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation efforts, and the shift to SCP patterns in the buildings and construction sector by improving knowledge of sustainable construction, develop sustainable solutions, and share that knowledge and those solutions globally.

Our Experts

Christophe Lalande
Housing Specialist, Land, Housing and Shelter Section
Urban Practices Branch, Global Solutions Division