What’s at Stake
Property rights are the keys to economic security, identity, and wealth creation. Yet an estimated 72 percent of the world’s population, more than 4 billion people, live on physical property for which they do not hold formal rights or documentation, or live without permanent homes or access to land altogether.
Physical property is a fundamental form of capital, and formal rights to that property bring benefits to the people that hold them as well as the societies that can secure them. For the individual, formal rights enhance social status and political clout, facilitate access to financial services as well as water and electricity, prevent unfair dispossession of land, and provide both the ability and incentive to invest in one’s property to create economic value. Societies that enforce these rights benefit from greater economic growth, transparency, and political stability, as they encourage investment, promote the rule of law, and give people a stake in the future.
We strive to increase ownership of land and property for all people, encourage transparency and flexibility in property ownership, and develop legal education for property rights. We provide grants to nonprofit organizations focused on establishing legal aid, title registry creation, and policy reform in rural and urban areas to address these issues. We also invest in for-profit companies that provide infrastructure or other programs for land registry.
We hope to alleviate poverty and stimulate economies by helping the poor gain access to land, secure rights to that land, and document ownership so that they can sell, transfer, or dispose of their rights as they see fit. With property rights, people can improve their living conditions, invest confidently in their property, enhance their economic security, and improve their social status in the community.