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Oct. 5 is World Habitat Day: Learn How You Can Get Involved

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world habitat day bannerThe United Nations has designated the first Monday each October as
World Habitat Day.

This year on Oct. 5, Habitat for Humanity is leading a global observance in Washington, D.C. and around the world,  to declare that the lack of decent, affordable housing is unacceptable. The theme for World Habitat Day 2009 is “Planning Our Urban Future.”

According to the United Nations, more than 100 million people in the world today are homeless. Millions more face a severe housing problem living without adequate sanitation, with irregular or no electricity supply and without adequate security.

Worldwide, more than 2 million housing units per year are needed for the next 50 years to solve the present worldwide housing crisis. With the global population expanding, however, at the end of those 50 years, there would still be a need for another 1 billion houses. (UN-HABITAT: 2005)

Habitat for Humanity seeks to raise awareness and advocates to change the global plague of poverty housing.

U.S. Housing Facts:

  • About 95 million people, one third of the nation, have housing problems including a high-cost burden, overcrowding, poor quality shelter, and homelessness. (National Low Income Housing Coalition: 2004)
  • One in three American households spend more than 30 percent of income on housing, and one in seven spends more than 50 percent. (Joint Center for Housing Studies: 2006)
  • The number of low-income families that lack safe and affordable housing is related to the number of children that suffer from asthma, viral infections, anemia, stunted growth and other health problems. (Sandel, et al: 1999)
  • About 21,000 children in the U.S. have stunted growth attributable to the lack of stable housing; 10,000 children between the ages of 4 and 9 are hospitalized for asthma attacks each year because of cockroach infestation at home; and more than 180 children die each year in house fires attributable to faulty electrical heating and electrical equipment. (Sandel, et al: 1999)

Want to get involved? The National Association of REALTORS® is partnering with San Diego Habitat for Humanity during the NAR Conference & Expo to build the first “green” Habitat home. The new home will incorporate green building techniques in its design and construction. Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Build Day will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11. A $10 registration fee goes toward the Habitat for Humanity sponsorship. For more information, please e-mail jbraun@realtors.org. Or visit the Habitat for Humanity Web site to learn about local volunteer opportunities: www.habitat.org.

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