Thank you for your presence and participation at the Asia Pacific Housing Forum 5 (APHF5) in Delhi on the 3rd and 4th of September 2015. The two day forum saw 572 delegates register and 87 speakers address the various plenary and break-away parallel sessions. Towards the end of the forum on 4th September 2015, we presented a snap-shot of issues discussed, key take-aways, and the way forward joint statement. The latter being a joint commitment on behalf of all the delegates, speakers, organisations and participants.
The Asia-Pacific Housing Forum is a biennial conference organized by Habitat for Humanity. It gathers under one roof all marketplace actors engaged in seeking solutions to low-income housing issues that make business and economic sense.
The next Housing Forum, the fifth, will be held in New Delhi on the 3-4 September 2015. Two satellite events, taking place in Honk Kong and Philippines, will run concurrently, on the 3-4 September 2015. This is the first time that the event is happening in New Delhi, India. All events will be coordinated through the Housing Forum theme of 'Building Impact'. The theme for India is 'Building Impact through Ecosystems for Bottom of the Pyramid Affordable Housing'. Since its inception in 2007, the Housing Forum has brought together more than 2,000 people from 52 countries.
APHF 5 will serve as a platform to:
Housing is a very important subject – which is one of the basic needs of the society. Habitat for Humanity has been playing a vital role for decades in ensuring equitable and social housing. The Asia Pacific Housing Forum is a much sought after event to bring the various stakeholders to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, which enables all of us to give a complete meaning to what we do.
The Asia Pacific Housing Forum provide an excellent platform for sharing experiences on challenges and solutions for low income affordable housing . With the daunting challenge for providing houses for nearly 60 million urban and rural poorer households with all basic amenities and facilities call for optimum utilisation of all resources of land , finance and building technologies, which are affordable to the people and the State. Access to Housing Microfinance become a major enabling step forward for down marketing credit for the poor, marginalised and disadvantaged. Housing for All, under PMAY, provides the positive supportive frame work to dovetail all these efforts for providing shelter and services in the decadal period ahead.
The APHF5 clearly resonates the growing consensus at the UN that the success of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will largely be dependent on its ability to transform living conditions of the community, particularly in making available affordable and low cost housing and sanitation solutions. Global Compact’s agenda is to work in partnership with multi-stakeholder actors with renewed focus on businesses to be a force for good in addressing the myriad challenges in housing and sanitation sector with enabling policy ecosystem. Habitat for Humanity’s event being held in Delhi and concurrently in Honk-Kong, Nepal and Philippines is a sincere step in the right direction to aggregate initiatives at all levels. A multi sectoral focus is what will be needed for optimising on efforts and resources, of everyone, to benefit excluded and marginalised at large, going forward.
Treat toilets as you would your sons and daughters. It will bring dignity and respect to sanitation in the world.
The current times are more peculiar considering the fast urbanization and the need to provide affordable housing in growing cities and towns. Housing particularly pro-poor housing has many challenges and problems. In a country where the estimated shortage of housing in urban areas is nearly 20 million, 95% of which is mainly for economically weaker sections and low income groups, organisations like Habitat for Humanity in India has an important role to play in addressing the challenge of housing shortage both for rural as well as for urban areas particularly in pursuance of the national objective of improving access to adequate housing by providing a dwelling unit for every family by 2022 and also in pursuance of the sustainable development goal of safe and sustainable human settlements by 2030. UN-Habitat is happy to partner with Habitat for Humanity in organising APHF5 with the key objective of working out strategies and finding out solutions not only for India but also for the Asia Pacific region as part of the New Urban Agenda to be discussed in HABITAT-III in October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador. The deliberations during APHF5 in different parts of the Asian region will provide an opportunity to discuss various strategies for inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable settlements by 2030. Housing should be part of a general urban policy such that houses are designed in a manner that the poor have incentives to further improve as their economic conditions improve.
APHF5 is a great platform for key stakeholders to come together to develop a road map for shelter and sanitation through PEOPLE (COMMUNITY), PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP. Devising the right operational model through community engagement with right ingredients for a scale-able and sustainable business model is critical in tacking poverty housing in India. Housing is a foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty. Habitat for Humanity India is committed in engaging the community in tackling poverty housing and as a catalyst engages the community in transforming software, hardware and heart-ware into a viable shelter solution.
The Cities Alliance is a global partnership for poverty reduction and the promotion of cities in sustainable development. Habitat for Humanity International is a member of the Cities Alliance and contributes to the global work programme particularly in promoting inclusive approach to city development. Asia Pacific Housing Forum 5 offers a great opportunity for cross-learning to strengthen the cities to contribute to achieving the sustainable development goals, in particular the goal to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The discussions in the Forum would also contribute to ‘shaping’ the new urban agenda’’ to be adopted in Habitat III conference next year.
Housing for All by 2022 is a vision! This vision requires concerted effort, requiring hundreds of credible social organisations to get in to mission mode in order to realise this compelling vision. Mission mode execution requires an eco-system for the work force to execute. We are far from it! India’s eco system requires collaborative effort, availability and adoption of appropriate technologies and a committed trained workforce, which India lacks, mainly due to the absence of credible platforms. And this conference at Delhi on 03 & 04-Sep’15, hopes to facilitate as the harbinger.
Habitat’s Asia Pacific Housing Forum 2015, is a biennial event, being held for the first time in India. With a reputation of organising very pertinent events internationally, this organising team got the 4 themes right - Shelter concepts, Market development, Financing and Sanitation. I believe that the participants will benefit immensely by attending this conference.
On a lighter note, the food is supposed to be very good at the Leela. The organisers got that right too :)