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World Habitat Awareness Month – October 2024

World Habitat Awareness Month is observed in October every year. It’s a movement spearheaded by the United Nations’ Urban October movement. It is to raise awareness about how people can work together in creating sustainable, carbon-neutral, and inclusive cities and towns. It is a reminder that people have power over the areas they inhabit. From reducing carbon monoxide emissions, observing proper waste management, to controlling urban greenhouse. It’s a day to raise awareness on how to protect the ecosystem we’re living in.

History of World Habitat Awareness Month

Before the introduction of World Habitat Awareness Month, the need for shelter has always been an epidemic in American history. It dates back to 1946, a year after the Second World War ended when a group of ex-servicemen founded the East Midlands Housing Association (E.M.H.A.). Led by Peter Elderfield, the organization’s goal is to provide subsidized social housing and sell affordable residential homes. “There is no shortage of housing problems – what is needed are solutions,” Elderfield said.

In 1976, the E.M.H.A. discontinued its operations and was replaced by the Building and Social Housing Foundation (B.S.H.F.). Since then, the organization has carried over E.M.H.A.’s legacy and has continued to provide housing solutions that are both sustainable and affordable. Their success has allowed them to build a global network of partnerships, including the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (U.N.-Habitat).

The emergence of world habitat awareness dates back to 1985 when the United Nations declared October as World Habitat Awareness Day. This would later on become a month-long observance. Its purpose was to recognize every person’s basic need for sustainable shelter as well as eradicate the causes of poverty housing. It also aims to remind everyone of their power and responsibility to shape and hone the town or city they live in. Ultimately, the goal is not only to ensure everyone’s access to shelter but also their ability to control their environment.

Every year, World Habitat Awareness Month is hosted by a different city from all around the world with a specific theme. The first event in 1986 was held in Nairobi, Kenya, with the theme ‘Shelter is my Right.’

World Habitat Awareness Month timeline

Post-War Housing Needs

Ex-servicemen from the war establish the East Midlands Housing Association.

The Emergence of the B.S.H.F.

The E.M.H.A. discontinues its operations and is replaced by the B.S.H.F.

The World Habitat Awards

The B.S.H.F. pioneers the World Habitat Awards, a competition dedicated to the poor’s housing needs.

The First World Habitat Awareness Month

The U.N. declares October as World Habitat Awareness Month.

World Habitat Awareness Month FAQs

Which country hosted World Habitat Awareness Month in 2021?

Cameroon hosted the event with the theme ‘Accelerating urban action for a carbon-free world.’

What is the largest habitat on Earth?

The ocean is the largest habitat in the world, which covers 71% of the Earth’s surface.

Which country hosted the most World Habitat Awareness Month events?

The United States has hosted the event four times.

How to Observe World Habitat Awareness Month

  1. Raise awareness in your city

    Use social media to draw attention to the current housing and environmental problems around you. Use the hashtag #WorldHabitatAwarenessMonth and create buzz to raise awareness in your community.

  2. Donate to charity

    If you want to make a difference, any amount you’re willing to spare is enough. Go to the U.N.-Habitat’s website and learn more about the donation drives you can participate in. Get the attention of your friends and family members and make this an annual philanthropic activity for all of you.

  3. Organize fun activities based on the year’s theme

    Your family can participate in the smallest ways possible. Last year’s theme was ‘Accelerating urban action for a carbon-free world.’ Since food production is one of the main causes of carbon emission, you may try switching your food choice to organic meals.

5 Important Facts About World Habitat Awareness Month

  1. Global prestige

    The U.N.-Habitat ‘Scroll of Honor’ award is the most prestigious human settlement award.

  2. Informal housing problems

    The U.N. found many dwellers live in poor housing without clean water and waste collection.

  3. Housing Europe

    The B.S.H.F. was one of the founders of Housing Europe.

  4. It’s not a holiday

    World Habitat Awareness Month is an observance, not a holiday.

  5. The rising number of homeless people

    Global Homelessness Statistics found that 1.6 billion people lack proper housing.

Why World Habitat Awareness Month is Important

  1. It’s for a good cause

    Providing any person or family with their basic need of shelter is important. Joining the cause of World Habitat Awareness Month is the least anyone can do to share their blessings and possibly give a homeless person a safe and sustainable house.

  2. It opens up social awareness

    It’s important to instill in the younger generation’s minds the reality of many people’s housing situations — or lack thereof. It’s paramount to encourage them in charitable causes. Not only is it character building, but it’s also nation-building.

  3. Small actions can end the hardships of others

    Poverty may not end right away but with every person participating in U.N.’s housing solution activities, it means a homeless person gets closer to the chance of owning a house. One’s good deed is a domino effect that could change the lives of others.

World Habitat Awareness Month dates

2024October 1Tuesday
2025October 1Wednesday
2026October 1Thursday
2027October 1Friday
2028October 1Sunday
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