World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Affordable Housing Key to Development & Social Equality

Affordable housing key for development and social equality, UN says on World Habitat Day

2 October 2017 – With 1.6 billion people living in inadequate housing, one billion of whom reside in slums and informal settlements, the United Nations is spotlighting affordable homes on today's World Habitat Day, which also marks the official start of Urban October – a month of worldwide celebrations and citizens' engagement in urban life worldwide.

“While millions of people lack suitable homes, the stock of vacant houses is gradually increasing,” said Dr. Joan Clos Executive Director of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) in a message commemorating the Day under the 2017 theme 'Housing Policies: Affordable Homes.'

“Ensuring housing affordability is therefore a complex issue of strategic importance for development, social peace and equality,” he added.

This year's celebrations are noteworthy as they coincide with the first anniversary of the New Urban Agenda,” adopted at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, better known as Habitat III, in Quito, Ecuador, which enshrines urbanization as an indispensable for development and a prerequisite for prosperity and growth.

“It is thanks to this paradigm shift that urbanization and development are indivisibly linked one to another,” Dr. Clos said.

'Handing over housing to the market has proved a failure'

An analysis of housing affordability over the last 20 years reveals that despite increasing demand, housing – including rentals – has been largely unaffordable for the majority of the world population.

“Handing over housing to the market has proved a failure in providing affordable and adequate housing for all,” Dr. Clos continued.

“We all remember well that housing was at the epicentre of the eruption of the global economic crisis of 2008, instead of being at the heart of the urban policy. Today, 1.6 billion people live in inadequate housing, of which one billion live in slums and informal settlements,” he underscored.

Dr. Clos emphasized that addressing the housing needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, especially women, youth and those who live in slums, must be a priority in the development agendas.

Promoting sound housing policies is also crucial for climate change, resilience, mobility and energy consumption.

Which is why, the Executive Director said: “we would like to remind on this Day the importance of locating housing at the physical – and holistic – centre of our cities.

“For housing to contribute to national socio-economic development and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the New Urban Agenda calls for placing housing policies at the centre of national urban policies along with strategies to fight poverty, improve health and employment,” he stressed.

Each year, World Habitat Day takes on a new theme to promote sustainable development policies to ensure shelter for all – often promoting one of UN-Habitat's focal areas such as inclusive housing and social services; a safe and healthy living environment, with consideration for children, youth, women, elderly and disabled; affordable and sustainable transport and energy; and job creation.

“As we strive to create cities for all, an urgent action for achieving affordable homes requires a global commitment to effective and inclusive housing policies,” Dr. Clos concluded.


ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Euro-Med Monitor: Sudan Military Coup Shatters Democratic Path, Threatens With Authoritarian Rule Return
The Sudanese army's seizure of power in the country diminishes the hard-won human rights and civil gains achieved after the December 2018 protests, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said today in a statement...More>>


Weather: Pacific Likely To Experience Double Dip La Niña Episode

The Pacific is likely to experience a rare occurrence of what is called a double dip La Niña in the coming months, Climate models and predictions tools used by Pacific National Meteorological and Hydrological services (NMHSs) show...
More>>

CNS: Will India's 1 Billion Vaccination-dose-milestone Be Catalytic For Vaccinating All?

On 21 October 2021, India crossed its milestone of administering over 1 billion (100 crores) doses within 278 days since it began the vaccination rollout (on 16th January 2021)... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Climate: ‘Vague’ Net Zero Promises Not Enough: Planet Still On Track For Catastrophic Heating, UN Report Warns

New and updated commitments made ahead of the pivotal climate conference COP26 in the past months are a positive step forward, but the world remains on track for a dangerous global temperature rise of at least 2.7°C this century even if fully met, a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has warned... More>>

Pacific: Young Climate Leaders Call For Urgent Climate Action Ahead Of COP26

Eight Pacific Young Climate Leaders shared their experiences of climate resilience and activism in an inaugural dialogue with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Mr Henry Puna on 21 October 2021... More>>

UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>