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What does home mean to you?


Coverage of the housing crisis around the world often seems like a localised issue experienced in major urban areas – from London, New York and Paris, to Tokyo, Hong Kong and Melbourne. However, the global housing crisis is, in fact, inherent to all cities around the world, and is part of the 21st century.

Of course, housing crises vary in levels of extremes according to metropolises and it is undeniable that rent and buying prices have surged to unparallel levels in some of the world's major cities. But to deny this issue as one that spans all urban areas, economical powers of locations and nations and a class struggle would be entirely incorrect.

Access to a home is a human right, yet more and more and across the world, this right is seemingly not taken with the seriousness it deserves. Welcome back to FairPlanet's weekly roundup. This time we're looking at the global housing crisis.

Read, Debate: Engage.

The good

Innovation is helping solve the global housing crisis.

As populations swell and markets inflate, access to affordable housing is becoming increasingly more difficult to attain by citizens on median income. This is a crisis experienced in all corners of the world, and it is pushing more and more people to sleep rough on the streets or be forced to move away from their hometowns in search of more affordable shelter.

But when there is struggle, innovation always prevails. And the global housing crisis is no exception to the rule. From AI used in the U.S. and U.K. that enables members of the public to connect people sleeping rough with local services that can support them, to the world's first 3D printed community in Latin America, invention and brilliance is helping to restore the right that every person deserves a home to call their own and no one can be left to sleep rough or not be able to afford a roof over their head.

The bad

the housing crisis is synonymous with poverty and disregard for human dignity

South Africa boasts the most progressive constitution in the African continent. And still, human rights violations are rampant in the country – from extreme poverty and homelessness to gender-based violence.

The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) is a human rights organisation dedicated to assisting individuals, communities, and social movements in the effort to protect their socio-economic rights.

SERI’s stance is that “it is the people who are on the receiving end of poverty and inequality who are best placed to devise and implement strategies to challenge them,” and thus it seeks to also protect the spaces in which such individuals and communities can advocate for their own agendas for change.

Please visit SERI's website to learn more about their work and open volunteer/internship positions.


Join SERI in the fight to protect civil and socio-economic rights in South Africa

by Yair Oded

The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa engage in litigation, research, and advocacy to protect the human and civil rights of South Africans.
FairPlanet reports

Berlin's rent freeze shows the city is not simply a playground for the rich

by Gurmeet Singh

One day a letter arrives. It says simply: your new rent is twice what it was. If you cannot pay the new rent, then you must leave your apartment.
housing briatin Kopie

The world’s first 3D-printed community is on its way

With today’s housing costs becoming higher and higher every day in close to any major city that you can think of, the idea of a low-cost 3D-printed village sounds almost too good to be true - according to a report by the Resolution Foundation, one in three of Britain’s millennials will never own their own home. Could low-cost 3D-printed houses be the solution to enjoying the privilege of ownership?

Rwanda tackles housing crisis with modern villages

by Bob Koigi

Rwanda remains one of the most densely populated countries in Africa. Yet like the rest of the continent, it continues to grapple with a housing crisis as limited land competes with other needs such as agriculture.
rogue landlord

Rogue landlords making people's lives hell

by Gurmeet Singh

The U.K.’s housing market, particularly the rental market, is deeply troubling. So who is responsible?
Country focus

One of the strongest economies and nation-states in the world, Germany, situated in Central Europe, is the continent's most industrialised and populated country, comprising of 82 million inhabitants.

With an aggressive and tumultuous past that has left Germany in shatters following World War II, the country became one of the founders of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951, which was a forerunner of the later European Union.

Germany today is a promise to the journey it has taken as a country that carries within its past Nazism, the Holocaust and the division between Europe's cold war blocks.

After the breakdown of the Cold War order and rising authoritarianism around the world, Germany, under Chancellor Angela Merkel, has been holding on to the principles of liberal democracy.

However, especially after the reunification of West- and East-Germany, right-wing extremism, fuelled by anti-immigrant, anti-muslim and anti-semitic ideologies, has been on the rise ever since.

Whereas, in the wake of the Syrian war, Germany has been in many ways a blueprint for welcoming immigration policies, but continues to face domestic resistance against its absorption of more than 850,000 refugees during the 'European refugee crisis' of 2016.