Housing

What Housing Currently Looks Like

We all know that homelessness is a problem in most countries and more in some than in the others. Basic necessities such as sanitation, clean water and adequate shelter are simply not available to all at the moment.

The following statistics and findings were taken from http://www.habitat.org/how/why/intl_stats_research.aspx

Statistics

• By the year 2030, an additional 3 billion people, about 40 percent of the world’s population, will need access to housing. This translates into a demand for 96,150 new affordable units every day and 4,000 every hour. (UN-HABITAT: 2005)

• One out of every three city dwellers – nearly a billion people – lives in a slum and that number is expected to double in the next 25 years. (Slum indicators include: lack of water, lack of sanitation, overcrowding, non-durable structures and insecure tenure.) (UN-HABITAT: 2006)

• As much as 70 percent of the urban housing stock in sub-Saharan Africa, 50 percent in South Asia, and 25 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean is of poor quality and not in compliance with local regulations. (Kissick, et al: 2006)

Research findings

• One’s health is directly linked to housing and housing related basics such as water and sanitation. In Mexico, researchers at the World Bank and University of California, Berkeley, found that replacing dirt floors with concrete floors improved the health of children, including a 20 percent reduction in parasitic infections, a 13 percent reduction in diarrhea and a 20 percent reduction in anemia.

• 2.6 billion people or 39 per cent of the world’s population live without access to improved sanitation and 751 million people share their sanitation facilities with other households or only use public facilities. (World Health Organization, 2009)

• Children under five living in Habitat for Humanity houses in Malawi showed a 44 percent reduction in malaria, respiratory or gastrointestinal diseases compared to children living in traditional houses. The effect of improved housing on the health of young children was as high as that of water and sanitation programs. (Wolf, et al: 2001)

• Access to land is fundamental to adequate shelter. Having legal title to that land encourages families to invest and improve their homes and allows them to access credit and other public services such as water and electricity. Nearly one sixth of the world’s population is living without secure tenure (UN-HABITAT: 2008).

• Women are particularly affected by insecure tenure. Increasing and protecting women’s access to land tenure can decrease their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, violence, human trafficking and the impact of natural disasters. Women own less than 15 percent of the land worldwide (International Center for Research on Women: 2006).

Housing In An Equal Money System

Ensuring that there is sufficient housing for everyone may be the largest task that will be faced in the EMS, seeing as so many people live in poverty now.

The entire concept of “home environment” will evolve from needing to live close to one’s workplace and in a home one can afford into being able to live anywhere (within reason). Cities will become almost obsolete – their only potential purpose being as centralized points for mass-production of goods and for those people who do prefer living in a bustling city as opposed to a quiet town. The only purpose for cities existing currently is to serve as central hubs of trade. Think about it: everyone who chooses to move to a city does so in order to find employment.

Cities would need to be adapted to cater for a more self-sufficient human: rooftops could host vegetable gardens, unused buildings could be torn down and cleared (there would be fewer people living in the cities) to make way for gardens and trees.

Some housing could be developed into smaller self sufficient community setups, where people will be able to have adequate space for their home and whatever else they would like to do on their property (eg, vegetable gardening, animals etc).

Community participation will be the most common form of any kind of development: the community will assist when a new house needs to be built, when a road needs to be repaired and so on. Professions will change from being specialized skills to universal skills, with each person having an understanding of how to construct a shelter suited to the particular area they are in (this will be learned by each person in their basic Education). There will be some people who will choose to focus their learning on things such as construction or engineering who will be available as additional support. In many African cultures, before they were Westernized, communities consisted of people who would help each other till the fields, lend a cow to someone who had suffered a pestilence, join together to prepare for celebrations – all of this they did in the understanding that what is good for the community as a whole is good for each member. Each community member is interdependent on every other member to the benefit of all.

DIY (with the help of your neighbours) will become the norm since each person will be able to build their own furniture, fix their own appliances, put up their own fences, install their own irrigation.

Building materials will be supplied by the young adults doing their community service where it is otherwise not readily available from the community’s surroundings. See The Conscription System in Labour.

Education will play a major role in the self-sufficiency of this housing concept, so the government will need to send trainers to teach communities how to build in the initial stages.

Land will not be “owned” by anyone or anything – it will simply be cared for. Any disputes regarding usage that may arise will be settled in a community meeting where the most practical solution will be found and agreed upon by all the members.

Within our houses we will be able to create an environment that is safe, comfortable and effective. Our scientific developments could focus on enhancing our lives by, for example, researching ways to detect our bodies' requirements by analyzing our urine.

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