Home / Media Releases / Government officials, private sector leaders and civil society experts applaud inclusion of housing in global goals and call for improved housing policies

 

Hong Kong, 4 September 2015 – Today marks the closing of the 5th Asia-Pacific Housing Forum in Hong Kong, Delhi and Manila, with more than 1,000 delegates collectively applauding the inclusion of decent housing for all in the Sustainable Development Goals to be ratified later this month. Delegates also called for informed housing policies to ensure that decent, sustainable and affordable housing is globally accessible.

“Housing is at the center of every aspect of life. There is no great education, there are no health outcomes, there is no world peace, there’s no anything without housing. We are so globally connected; the world’s future depends on what we do about building communities,” said Renee Glover, former Atlanta Housing Authority chief and Chair of Habitat for Humanity International’s Board of Directors.

Over the course of the Housing Forum, representatives from civil society, academia, the public and private sectors, as well as students and community groups, explored solutions to challenges, such as urbanization and climate change. Coming a few weeks before the United Nations announces the new Sustainable Development Goals, the outcomes from the Housing Forum will inform the implementation of these global goals. Delegates attending the Housing Forum across three locations signed a statement urging eight recommendations for Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, taking place in Quito, Ecuador, in 2016.

The recommendations urge that the Habitat III conference:

  • Continue to prioritize housing
  • Work to implement the Sustainable Development Goals agenda
  • Prioritize security of tenure
  • Include the voices of local communities and their partners
  • Have measured outcomes
  • Support market approaches
  • Prioritize access to urban basic services
  • Recognize the need to implement disaster preparedness strategies

Habitat for Humanity has been elected to represent civil society in events leading up to, and during, the Habitat III conference, and has utilized the Asia-Pacific Housing Forum to gather input from the region.

“We are confident that the benefits of this housing forum will have an ongoing positive impact on the Asia-Pacific region’s future, as delegates return to their home countries, full of ideas and renewed enthusiasm. We are hopeful that these ideas will be shared and shape new policies to reduce substandard housing in the region,” said Rick Hathaway, Habitat for Humanity’s Vice-President, Asia-Pacific.

With the pressing need for affordable housing amid rapid urbanization, the Housing Forum expanded this year   with Hong Kong hosting the main event and satellite events held in the large urban centers of Delhi, India, and Manila, Philippines. Hot topics and recurring themes during this year’s Asia-Pacific Housing Forum included:

  • The critical role of access to land for shelter and security of tenure;
  • The need for gender equality in eliminating poverty housing;
  • The diversification of micro-lending and the need to make markets work for the poor;
  • Building affordable, disaster-resilient housing, and policies that promote such housing, and
  • Harnessing technology for housing, and new sustainable building technology.

For details of speakers and further information on the Asia-Pacific Housing Forum, including the opportunity to add your signature to the Habitat III recommendations, visit aphousingforum.org.

 

Notes to Editors

For more information on the forum please contact Geno Teofilo, +852 5490 9681, gteofilo@habitat.org.

 

About Asia-Pacific Housing Forum 5

The Asia-Pacific Housing Forum is a biennial conference organized by Habitat for Humanity. In 2015, the Housing Forum’s fifth iteration, the main event was held from 2-4 September in Hong Kong. It brought together all actors engaged in seeking solutions to affordable housing issues that make business and economic sense. Satellite events took simultaneously in India and the Philippines. All events were coordinated through the Housing Forum theme of ‘Building Impact’. aphousingforum.org

 

About Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that safe and affordable housing provides a path out of poverty, since 1976 Habitat has helped more than 5 million people through home construction, rehabilitation and repairs and by increasing access to improved shelter through products and services. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and offers a variety of housing support services that enable families with limited means to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. Habitat has supported an estimated 2 million individuals in the Asia-Pacific region, where it has been active since 1983. To get more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit habitat.org/asiapacific or follow us at facebook.com/habitat.

 
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