Housing, Land and Property

Housing, land and property (HLP) issues arise in every humanitarian crisis, whether triggered by conflict or disaster.

Addressing HLP issues early and comprehensively contributes to:

  • Saving lives and preserving dignity: delays in accessing land and housing after crises puts people in life and health-threatening situations, undermines their dignity and can expose them to a range of serious protection risks, including sexual and gender based violence.
  • Enabling humanitarian action: access to safe, secure land is critical for humanitarian sectors such as food security; livelihoods; shelter; and camp coordination and camp management. Land and property documents are sometimes required as a pre-requisite for accessing relief aid, even though they may have been lost, destroyed or may never have been issued. 
  • Mitigating conflicts and disasters: inadequate land-use and weak protection of HLP rights exacerbate the negative impacts of disasters, especially on the most vulnerable groups of the population. Disputes over land and natural resources are often the underlying cause of conflict and can also re-emerge shortly after a peace agreement if these issues are not addressed.
  • Contributing towards durable solutions: displaced populations are often unable to return home because someone else is occupying their land or property. Secure HLP rights enable IDPs and refugees to return home, remain where they are or to move to a location of their choice.

For examples of HLP issues and response interventions in different emergency settings, check the following countries: Afghanistan, BurundiColombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, GeorgiaHaiti, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Libya, Mali, MozambiqueMyanmarPakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Yemen.

The Housing, Land and Property Area of Responsibility (HLP AoR) was created in 2007. As the designated HLP Focal Point Agency, the UN Human Settlements Programme (UNHABITAT) coordinates the global HLP AoR, which brings together a wide range of actors. For more information about the HLP AoR click here.

The HLP AoR facilitates a HeLP-desk function through which you can send a request for technical support: read more about HeLP-desk or write directly to HousingLandProperty@unhabitat.org

Contact

Szilard Fricska
Housing, Land and Property Coordinator
fricska.unhabitat@unog.ch