This summer, U.S. Representative Brad Miller reintroduced Shelter, Land and Urban Management (SLUM) Assistance Act of 2011 (H.R. 2180) with the overarching goals to: reduce global poverty and to promote U.S. national security interests. With the worldâ€™s population growing at a staggering rate, it has been reported that more than one (1) billion people live in the slums. All humans should be afforded the opportunity of living in dignity this is almost impossible when countless persons around the planet are forced to live in the squalor of a slum. Many of the worldâ€™s poorest inhabitants live in overcrowded conditions and lack access to running water as well as sanitation services. Their living conditions are hazardous, dangerous, unsafe, and contribute to many of the worldâ€™s major health problems.
In U.S. Representative Brad Millerâ€™s press release about this piece of legislation, he states that â€œthe United States was once the international leader in promoting policies and investments that improved the lives of millions of slum dwellers. However, the lack of a coherent U.S. policy addressing the growing challenges of global urbanization is undermining critical American investments in health care, education, and disaster recovery in developing countries.â€
â€œThe Shelter, Land and Urban Management (SLUM) Assistance Act of 2011 establishes programs to expand access to affordable housing for poor people around the world. Under the Act there will be reviews U.S. aid to see what is â€” and isnâ€™t â€” working to help improve the effectiveness of our programs.â€ Additionally, the Act requires cooperation among public and private aid groups to find creative solutions to improving life in slums until they can be eliminated.
In response to the proliferation of slums worldwide, Jonathan Reckford, Chief Executive
Officer, Habitat for Humanity wrote a letter to the public reminding us that, we can make a difference on behalf of poor people around the world by asking your members of Congress to support H.R. 2180, the Shelter, Land and Urban Management (SLUM) Assistance Act of 2011. In Jonathan Reckfordâ€™s letter, he highlighted the fact that reaching out to legislators will only take a minute of our time. Jonathan Reckford, Habitat for Humanityâ€™s CEO asserts that the SLUM Act (H.R. 2180) simply is a smarter way to approach U.S. foreign aid policy â€” and it doesnâ€™t require extra taxpayer dollars to make things better.
What the Shelter, Land and Urban Management (SLUM) Assistance Act of 2011 does is help U.S. aid more effectively address the need for adequate shelter worldwide. This piece of legislation was reintroduced on in June 2011 by Representative Brad Miller. According to US Rep. Millerâ€™s website, â€œhe was inspired to pursue this issue by separate congressional delegation visits to the Kibera slum outside of Nairobi, Kenya.â€ U. S. Rep. Brad Miller said that, â€œthe largest slum in Africa, Kibera represents many of the challenges associated with slums and urbanization: dilapidated and overcrowded housing, inadequate access to water and sanitation, limited electricity, poor health conditions, and increased risk of violence and instabilityâ€.
Today, we can help to create a better world for all. Toward that goal, please join Habitat for Humanity and contact your members of Congress and ask them to support the SLUM Act (H.R. 2180). For futher information on this piece of legislation, you can visit the following websites: www.govtrack.us, www.opencongress.org, and U.S. Rep. Millerâ€™s website.
Sources: http://www.govtrack.us, www.opencongress.org. U.S. Rep. Brad Millerâ€™s website. Habitat for Humanity. Shelter, Land and Urban Management (SLUM) Assistance Act of 2011. Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art