Federation for
Housing and

The inroads for IFHP to Habitat III


Habitat III is a major global summit, formally known as the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, to be held in Quito in October 2016.  The conference will be the first time in 20 years to gather the international housing and planning community and it is an occasion for its members, at all levels, to harmonize its understanding of the problems and opportunities posed by current trends in urbanization. The United Nations advances both The New Urban Agenda and The Sustainable Development Goals and IFHP relates to them both. 
  • A more elaborate explanation about Habitat 3 can be found here
  • More information on othe major players can be found here

The inroads for IFHP to Habitat III

An intense preparatory process leads to Habitat III. It includes a series of official and semi-official events, including regional meetings, thematic meetings and ‘Urban Thinkers Campuses’ for stakeholder input. In addition, 10 policy units have come up with important recommendations for the drafting and implementing of the New Urban Agenda. IFHP engages actively in the preparatory process in several ways:
- IFHP is Lead Member of the World Urban Campaign (WUC)
- IFHP is an active part of the General Assembly of Partners (GAP)  
- IFHP is active member of the Habitat’s Professionals Forum (HPF)
- IFHP is serving as Habitat III Policy Unit Expert with our president Flemming Borreskov, who is a member of policy unit 4: ‘Urban Governance Capacity & Institutional Development’ & board member Arun Jain is a member of policy unit 1: ‘Right to the city’.
The Habitat III Issue Papers are summary documents that address one or more research areas, highlight general findings, and identify research needs on topics related to housing and sustainable urban development.

The Issue Papers provides in depth review and analysis of 22 specific issues relevant to the discussions of the Conference. The Issue Papers are the departing point for the work of the Policy Units. The Issue Papers are prepared by the United Nations Task Team on Habitat III with the methodology of elaboration of the Issue Papers is in line with the elaboration of the compendium of issues briefs prepared by the United Nations inter-agency Technical Support Team for the United Nations General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Download the policy unit papers here
  • Serving as a point for departure for the Policy Units are Issue Papers

Outputs from the Policy Units are official inputs to the Habitat III process.

We participate in the preparatory process by: engaging in the discussion, voicing our concerns, when we share existing solutions, in our activities and when engaging members of the IFHP Community who as urban professionals deal with urban trends and challenges every day. 


IFHP reviewed the role of Housing in the UN-Habitat New Urban Agenda 

This Review Paper describes what we see as the role of Housing in the UN-Habitat New Urban Agenda the and its implications on housing affordability and segregation in Europe and Southeast Asia.  
Ensuring universal access to affordable housing requires urgent global attention. While in different countries and regions the specificities of the challenge vary, the central issue remains: housing that is adequate and affordable is increasingly out of reach for a large proportion of the population. With urban populations increasing and expanding at unprecedented rates, it is not surprising that many cities are falling short in housing supply. By 2025, it is likely that around 1.6 billion people will be in need of adequate affordable housing. This should come as a wake-up call to governments, urging them to act determinedly in order to enable access to housing for all. With rapid population growth, high levels of poverty and persistent urban inequality, it is evident that housing is inseparable from urbanization and should be a socioeconomic imperative. 
After a long period, housing is emerging as an important sector once again. UN-Habitat’s strategy paper “Housing at the Centre of the New Urban Agenda” seeks to re-establish the important role of housing in achieving sustainable urbanization. In Europe, very heterogeneous housing markets, make it difficult to propose one single approach to housing policy and housing markets. The rental sector is expensive, home ownership is not an option due to the even higher costs, and social housing is just not enough, with waiting lists growing in most European countries, making entering in the housing market increasingly difficult. These facts, have been leading to generational gaps and overburdened phenomena across the national housing markets in the EU.
In Asia, the housing stock is grossly deficient both in quantity and quality. Housing shortages and poor housing conditions are largely the result of the rapid urbanization that has occurred. Inadequate and overcrowded housing, unsafe water, and poor sanitation in densely populated cities are threatening the health and well-being of hundreds of millions of people. Southeast Asia is steadily urbanizing. By 2010, an estimated 41.8 per cent of the region’s total population lived in urban areas. By 2025 it will have increased to 49.7 per cent of the total population in the region. 
Inclusive urban development concerns, not only the currently marginalized, but also the future generations, and unfortunately, many cities are trying to meet the present needs without taking into account the future needs, which might compromise the future generations.
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