Posted: October 3, 2016
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.