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Faces of housing poverty in Poland - Photo Exhibition by the Foundation Habitat for Humanity Poland on the World Habitat Day, October 1, 2012



The World Habitat Day, which purpose is to promote worldwide awareness on poverty housing, falls on the 1st October 2012 and it was initiated by the United Nations.

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Habitat for Humanity, while realizing its mission of alleviation of poverty housing , meets with people affected by the problem, and living in very difficult conditions every day. Several families agreed to invite our representatives to their homes and to tell their stories. The Foundation has prepared a photo exhibition depicting the selected manifestations of poverty housing in Poland on the basis of these visits. The photos will be made available in a public space - in the subway station Świętokrzyska, from 1st  to 31st October 2012.


The housing situation in Poland is very unfavorable compared to other European countries, and the actions taken by the state and local government are inconsistent and fragmentary. Poles often live in overcrowded houses and many of the buildings are in poor condition. The enormous scale of poverty makes many families unable to meet their housing needs at the sufficient level. The housing poverty is most often experienced by children growing up in difficult circumstances, as well as people with special needs - with disabilities and the elderly. A coherent vision to satisfy one of the basic human needs, which is to have a safe, decent shelter hasn’t been developed in Poland yet.

On the World Habitat Day organizator wants to remind about these issues.

The content of the exhibition

The photographs illustrate selected aspects of a variety of housing exclusion in Poland: poverty, overcrowding, poor technical conditions and the possible consequences of this problem: difficulties with improving the life situation, inability if young people to become independent, health problems due to living in harsh conditions, lack of mobility, and risk of social pathologies of poverty through the creation of ghettos. The photographs show the situations of families with many children, the elderly and the disabled, where the housing problem is particularly acute.

People from our photographs talk about their daily struggles, which largely stem from their housing exclusion. They explain how the absence of a home tailored to their needs affects their present life and determine their future.. Despite their different fates, common elements of the stories include systemic barriers which are met by people with complicated family and/or material situation on their way to receive assistance from public institutions.


Foundation Habitat for Humanity Poland is part of an international Christian charity which main goal is to ensure that everyone can live in dignity. This is achieved through a variety of programs which include helping low income families to build homes, as well as through advocacy activities, raising public and authorities awareness to the problem of poverty housing. More information on previously completed and planned activities of the Foundation can be found on our website

Every year in celebration of the World Habitat Day various national branches of Habitat for Humanity around the world take a variety of actions dedicated to housing, showing the problem in the local context.


Poverty reduction is one of the United Nations’ priorities envisioned in the Millennium Development Goals. It relates to all forms of poverty, including housing, which is the focus of the World Habitat Day.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in 177 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

The central point of all activities undertaken by the UNDP Project Office in Poland is preventing and counteracting social exclusion. One of the main areas of UNDP activities is social innovation implemented within the framework of the Social Economy project. The office realizes its mission by acting to ensure equal opportunities for men and women, strengthening competencies of students from agricultural schools, and providing assistance to people with hearing disabilities on the labor market. UNDP Project Office in Poland is actively engaged in the transfer of knowledge based on Polish transformation and its own projects to countries undergoing political, social and economic transformation.

Person responsible for the organization of the exhibition:

Marzena Badziak, Advocacy Coordinator

Tel.  +48 505 591 970