Promoting sustainable housing futures for all

Second Housing Forum for Europe and Central Asia, 22-24 April, 2013

Decent housing should be seen as a fundamental human right.

The Europe and Central Asia region includes diverse economies with varying housing situations, from owner-driven markets to strong social rental models or those in transition. The challenges in the region include natural disasters and adverse climate change, the reduction of poverty and exclusion, an ageing population, ineffective financial regulation and practices, outdated and dilapidated housing stock, poverty and unequal access to water and other essential services and increasing household energy consumption. A clear vision and strategies for how to tackle these emerging housing challenges will have a profound impact on the overall economic development of the region.

The universal Declaration of Human Rights highlights that ”everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including good, clothing, housing…” At the same time, decent and affordable housing is not only a human right but also a matter of conscience and action.

Periodically, it is important to bring together the various stakeholders involved in the housing sector to identify priorities for improving housing conditions in the region. Habitat for Humanity Europe and Central Asia has partnered with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and the United Nations Development Program to find action-based solutions and ideas to solve these housing challenges.

In April 2011, the four organizations held the first Housing Forum Europe & Central Asia in Budapest, Hungary. The Forum brought together representatives of government, the private sector, civil and social organizations, as well as international organizations and institutions that contributed to building a common vision for affordable and sustainable housing in the region.

The second Housing Forum is scheduled to take place in April 2013. It will remain a strong platform for exchange, mutual learning and exploration between people who are committed to the cause of sustainable housing. It will focus on the four main thematic tracks: regulatory frameworks, housing solutions, housing vulnerabilities and housing and human development.

The creation of decent and affordable housing remains a top priority on the international agenda in the XXI century. Housing plays an increasingly important role in both economic and human development. It is central to many aspects of our lives: health, education, security, employment, our communities and even our identity. We strongly encourage stakeholders dealing with issues related to sustainable housing in Europe and Central Asia to participate in this event. Visit the forum website at ECA Housing Forum to stay informed with the latest updates.

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