Living in dignity is especially hard when you’re forced to live in the squalor of a slum.
Slums are usually inhabited by the poorest people in the city desperate for shelter and living in a slum puts already-vulnerable people at increased risk. Overcrowded conditions, open sewage and lack of sanitation services contribute to disease, and narrow paths that wind between ramshackle shacks made it all-but-impossible for emergency workers to reach people in need during a crisis situation. And the situation is growing ever more urgent as more and more people move to cities in search of jobs.
You can make a difference on behalf of poor people around the world by pressuring Congress to pass H.R. 2180, the Shelter, Land and Urban Management (SLUM) Assistance Act of 2011.
The SLUM Act is a smarter way to approach U.S. foreign aid policy – and it doesn’t require extra taxpayer dollars to make things better. What the bill does is help the U.S. more effectively address the need for adequate shelter worldwide.
The Shelter, Land and Urban Management (SLUM) Assistance Act of 2011:
-Establishes programs to expand access to affordable housing;
-Reviews U.S. aid to see what is – and isn’t – working to help improve the effectiveness of our programs; and
-Requires cooperation among public and private aid groups to find innovative solutions to improving life in slums until they can be eliminated.
Take action today. Please join Habitat for Humanity and demand that Congress pass the SLUM Act today.
U.S. foreign assistance programs account for only about 1 percent of the total U.S. budget. Although current budget pressures demand that we use our resources wisely and effectively, the lack of a coherent U.S. policy addressing the growing challenges of global urbanization undermine critical investments in health care, education and disaster recovery in developing countries.
By ignoring housing and failing to address slums worldwide, we aren’t running our aid programs as smartly as we should be. The SLUM Act (H.R. 2180) is a real solution.
Conditions associated with slums are abysmal. Living in a slum puts already-vulnerable people at increased risk. Overcrowded conditions, open sewage and lack of sanitation services contribute to disease, and violence plagues the lives of those living there. The situation is growing ever more urgent as more and more people move to cities in search of jobs. Today’s estimates put the total number of people living in slums at 1 billion and that figure is expected to double by 2030!
I believe this needs to stop now. And that’s up to Congress.
The SLUM Assistance Act (H.R. 2180) will establish sustainable urban development and management as a major objective of U.S. foreign assistance, and reinvigorate programs that increase access to tenure security, basic shelter, urban services and infrastructure. It will also promote the growth of functional housing markets, and support reforms that seek to enhance access to shelter for some of the world’s most vulnerable people, including women, children and the urban poor.
That’s why I am calling on Congress to pass the SLUM Assistance Act of 2011 (H.R. 2180) today.
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