Housing the world's growing population is not easy. Keeping track of this is the job of UNHabitat:
Rapid urbanization places remarkable strain on housing and serviced land. By 2030, about 3 billion people, or about 40 per cent of the world’s population, will need proper housing and access to basic infrastructure and services such as water and sanitation systems. This translates into the need to complete 96,150 housing units per day with serviced and documented land from now till 2030.But, what to do? That's a tougher issue, and Bloomberg News reports that the global consulting firm of McKinsey & Co is actually thinking about this.
In some cities, up to 80 per cent of the population lives in slums. Fifty-five million new slum dwellers have been added to the global population since 2000. Sub-Saharan Africa has a slum population of 199.5 million, South Asia 190.7 million, East Asia 189.6 million, Latin America and the Caribbean 110.7 million, Southeast Asia 88.9 million, West Asia 35 million and North Africa 11.8 million.
Replacing the world’s substandard housing and building affordable alternatives to meet future global demand would cost as much as $11 trillion, according to initial findings in a McKinsey & Co. report.The point is important. If governments cannot afford to house their populations--or prefer instead to send a rocket to Mars--maybe the private sector can step in. The missing ingredient in this formula, however, is how these people who cannot currently afford a decent place to live will in the future be able to do that. That problem of income inequality keeps coming back to bite us.
About 330 million households -- about 1.2 billion people -- now struggle with substandard housing, a number that may increase to 440 million in 11 years, McKinsey forecasts. Acceptable housing is within an hour’s commute of work and has basic services including flush toilets and running water, the report says.
In Lagos and Bombay, two of the world’s fastest-growing cities, the issue of inadequate housing is particularly grim as both emerging metropolises are poverty-ridden. There, the affordable-housing gap amounts to more than 10 percent of each city’s economic output.
The deficit presents an opportunity for construction companies -- with some of largest markets in emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil and Russia. Mortgage lenders also stand to benefit; by 2025, the market for affordable-home loans could be worth as much as $400 billion a year, the report said.