World Habitat Day 2022 : Mind the Gap

Caitlin Carroll | September 30, 2022

Woman in white construction helmet and pink shirt holds a sign that says "We need to increase the availability of affordable homes because our children should not have to worry where they will sleep tonight.


In 1986 the United Nations started the tradition of designating the first Monday of October as World Habitat Day. The vision was to call on world leaders, elected officials, and citizens across the globe to reflect on the state of our towns, cities, and communities, while advocating for the basic right of all to adequate shelter. Decades later the movement has grown, and this year we pause, and we Mind the Gap. The theme calls us to see the growing gaps in our neighborhoods, and world, and to step in and make sure we all have a decent and affordable place to call home.  

Our work at Habitat Wake began just a year earlier in 1985. For more than 37 years, our organization has been committed to building a community and a world where everyone has a safe, affordable place to live. We proudly do that work because of, and alongside, you. Our work is continually focused on minding the gaps that exist for many people in our community and providing long-term solutions. Together we are proud of the more than 850 safe and affordable houses we have built, and the 2,000+ families we have served. We have never done this work alone, and we are proud that we have been bringing people together to address these pressing needs right here in our home communities.  

But as we endure the housing crisis, the gaps are ever more glaring. For thousands of people in our community, the word “home” does not evoke the nostalgia of warmth and peace. Our communal work is unfinished. When we reflect on the state of our communities, we see that our friends, loved ones, and neighbors are being left behind. The gap is widening, and we can make a difference that addresses these pressing challenges:  

  • 1 in 4 families in Wake and Johnston counties lack access to affordable housing. 

  • There is currently a shortage of 60,000 affordable units in Wake County. 

  • Rising rent prices are putting residents at risk of eviction, displacement and homelessness.  

  •  15,000 evictions were filed across North Carolina last month.  

A decent place to live is a human right, not a lofty goal. Creating a Beloved Community where shelter is affordable and sustainable for all is a matter of conscience. Our conscience tells us, leads us, and tenaciously drives us to the truth that no one is living in dignity until everyone can live with dignity. More work must be done together. On this World Habitat Day, we invite you to join us in working to ensure our communities stop growing apart and start growing together. Together we are the change we need.  

Here is how you can get involved right now!