Severe Global Housing Need

The world is experiencing a global housing crisis. About 1.6 billion people live in substandard housing and one hundred million are homeless, according to United Nations’ statistics. These people are increasingly urban residents, and every week more than a million people are born in, or move to, cities in the developing world.

Today, a billion people—32 percent of the global urban population —live in urban slums. If no serious action is taken, the United Nations reports that the number of slum dwellers worldwide will increase over the next 30 years to nearly two billion.

This ever-increasing rate of rural-urban population driftexacerbates the housing shortage. In 2002, almost two billion people lived in the urbanized regions of the developing world. By 2030 that number will double to four billion. Example: Over the past decade, the population of Shanghai, China’s largest city rose 35 percent, or by nearly six million.

Estimates suggest that 26 percent of households in the six metropolitan areas in South Africa live in in-formal dwellings, often “illegally” and with limited access to services.Furthermore the UN estimates, to meet the demand for adequate, affordable housing right now, the world would need four thousand (4,000) new houses to be built around the world every hour! In India alone, estimates of the housing shortage range from twenty million to seventy million homes.

United Nations warns of the social and health consequences of the housing shortage.Current estimates have the world wide housing shortage at over one hundred million.SBA thinks there will be significant opportunities for developers and the construction industry over the next two decade as Governments come to grips with the extent of the severe housing shortage worldwide.