07 Nov Housing key to recovery in developing market economies
To mark World Habitat Day Oct. 5, DuPage Habitat for Humanity brought attention to the importance of decent housing around the globe by highlighting a recent Habitat report and a live panel discussion about the role housing can play in emerging economies struggling to recover from COVID-19.
The report, commissioned by Habitat’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter, was written by Marja Hoek-Smit, Director of the International Housing Finance Program of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center, and Arthur Acolin, assistant professor of real estate at the University of Washington.
It found that emerging economies may be significantly underestimating how much their housing sectors contribute to gross domestic product and, as a result, missing opportunities for economic and social revival.
The authors recommend stimulus policies that, in cooperation with the international and private sectors, focus on middle- and lower- income families while also including formal and informal markets, rental housing, and work with community organizations.
The report recommends short-term actions to: make good land available for housing; open access to finance for developers, households and landlords; provide equitable subsidies to households; and offer incentives to lenders and builders.
On Oct. 5, Hoek-Smit joined other housing experts from around the world in sharing insight about the report, and its implications during the panel. You can watch “+You: Is Housing the Secret to Economic Recovery From COVID-19?” at www.habitat.ngo/economicrecovery.
“Whether you’re in the Chicagoland area or Brazil, Mexico or another country with an emerging economy, housing is a major factor in the economic engine that drives growth,” says Dave Neary, DuPage Habitat’s executive director. “In times of crisis, it is a critical component of recovery. Coronavirus and the associated economic fallout are disproportionately impacting low-income Americans and people of color. Already living with employment uncertainty, current conditions will lead to an exponentially worse situation.
“In DuPage County, 74% of low-income earners are severely burdened with housing costs, many paying over 50% of their income. Changes in the employment status have an immediate and devastating impact forcing many to face homelessness. We need to address how we maintain affordable housing and expand it to help fuel our recovery.”
The report and the panel are part of the “Homes, Communities, Hope + You” campaign. The campaign is an opportunity for Habitat organizations all around the world to unite as a global network to galvanize communities and emerge from this crisis stronger together. The campaign will feature Habitat doing what it does best: building security and stability, building back the economy, reconnecting communities, and creating hope.
More details about Habitat’s “Hope, Communities, Hope + You” campaign is available at dupagehabitatforhumanity.rallybound.org/resiliency-fund.
About DuPage Habitat
Since 1995, DuPage Habitat for Humanity has partnered with people in our community, and all over the world, to help them achieve the strength, stability and independence they need to build a better life for themselves and for their families. Through local support, DuPage Habitat has helped over 640 people across the DuPage County build or improve a place they can call home. DuPage Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.
To learn more about DuPage Habitat for Humanity, visit dupagehabitat.org.