Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes adequate housing as a right of every person and as the foundation for all human development. But currently more than 1.6 billion people are housing insecure. Meanwhile, impact investors broadly have not prioritized housing as a solution to poverty in the Global South. Can startups advancing new technologies – from 3D printing construction to modern piped water infrastructure – change the tide?
Interconnected with wealth, health, climate, equity, and many other outcomes, housing is key to actualizing healthy communities. Investments in innovations in the housing sector address housing insecurity directly by reducing costs, increasing access, and mitigating the harshest impacts of climate change.
International non-governmental organizations (INGOs) like Habitat for Humanity International and Mercy Corps have championed investments in social ventures globally, from Cambodia and India to Kenya and Mexico. These unconventional investors will share their trials and tribulations in using impact investments to achieve desired outcomes.