Raquel Rolnik: Adequate housing is not just four walls and a roof

Listen to the speech made by Raquel Rolnik, UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, addressing the questions of rethinking the housing policies and recognizing opportunities during the “biggest housing crisis of the last decade”.

Speak up! At the Fourth Asia Pacific Housing Forum

SPEAK UP! against poverty housingThe fourth Asia Pacific Housing Forum, which is being organized by Habitat for Humanity International, will be held at the Dusit Thani Manila Hotel from 2-4 October 2013. This biennial, three-day event is a leading platform for governments, private sector businesses, thought leaders and civil society to discuss creative solutions to poverty housing and the inter-related issues of sustainable energy, land tenure, climate change and disaster risks, among others. The forum’s agenda will focus on the theme “Housing as a foundation for breaking the poverty cycle”.  We would appreciate if you could help us forward this invitation to your network. Details on registration are at

Shelter is acknowledged as a basic human right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a fundamental catalyst in breaking the cycle of poverty. Living in a decent home means improved health for the family, children doing better at school and increased livelihood opportunities. Yet in Asia Pacific, which is home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies, over 500 million people, or about one in eight, still live in slums.

To date, our partners for the event include the International Federation of the Red Cross, the Asian Development Bank, the Housing Urban Development Coordinating Council, the Aditya Birla Group, the Philippine Climate Change Commission, Citi, Bayer, Ayala Land, Panasonic, among others.

We have a number of distinguished personalities who have already confirmed their participation. They include Vice President Jejomar Binay of the Philippines; former US Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros; Deputy Secretary General Alicia Bala of ASEAN; Secretary Dinky Soliman of the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development; Secretary Mary Ann Lucille Sering of the Philippine Climate Change Commission; Donovan Storey, Chief of Sustainable Urban Development at UNESCAP; Dr. Liu Thai Ker, Chairman, Centre for Livable Cities; Zaigham Mahmood Rizvi, Secretary General of the Asia-Pacific Union for Housing Finance; Vikram Gandhi, Founder and CEO of VSG Capital Advisors; Hassan Ahmad, Chief Executive, Mercy Relief; Graham Saunders, International Federation of the Red Cross; among other distinguished panelists.

In addition to breakout sessions, there’ll be a one-day Housing Finance Course to be run by the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania (Wharton-Habitat for Humanity Housing Finance Course); a one-day workshop on the Eco-Town Framework by the Philippine Climate Change Commission; and demonstration/discussion workshops by the Asian Development Bank on energy efficiency technologies and sustainable energy for all. We look forward to your participation.

To see more information download our information brochure.

Important information about arriving to Palais

The event will take place in the Palais des Nations Salle XVIII. All participants will be required to go through security prior to the conference.  Security opens at 8 am.  Lines on Monday mornings are very long, and it is very strongly advised for all participants to arrive at 8 am to register in a timely fashion and be present for the 10:30 Housing Forum Opening Session. (For those who will in Geneva on Friday April 19, 2013 it is possible to pick up their badges between 2 and 5 pm that day in the Palais des Nations. Although not guaranteed, government representatives can try to arrange for their missions to pick up their badges for them.)

Entry to the Palais on  the first day is through The Pregny gate (don’t forget to bring your passport in order to get the security badge. After you have the badge you can get in through either the Pregny gate or Nations gate).

Important: passports or country identity cards are required to pass through security at the Palais. Without these you cannot enter the building.


Please, bring a filled out copy of the form to the registration. If completed in advance, it will expedite security clearance process. You can download the form here.


We are unable to assist individuals (or groups) with visa applications. Each participant manages his/her own application with the assistance of the nearest Swiss Consulate. However, if required we can prepare a personalized invitation letter which can be part of the supporting documents when applying for a visa.


The Geneva airport is close to the Palais des Nations. Travelers can obtain a ticket from a machine in the airport that allows them to use the bus to either downtown Geneva or the Ferney-Voltaire area free of charge. The ride is about 20 minutes.


Point “A” is Palais des Nations, Avenue de la Paix, Switzerland

Kurt Eliasson, President of CECODHAS Housing Europe, joins as a panelist

Kurt Eliasson, President of CECODHAS Housing Europe

Kurt Eliasson
President of CECODHAS Housing Europe

Kurt Eliasson is CEO at SABO – the Swedish Association of Public Housing Companies, which is the organisation of the municipality owned public housing companies in Sweden. He will be participating as a panelist in a discussion on the topic “The challenge of achieving sustainable housing for all”.

He is also Chairman of the board of Housing Nordic (NBO), Chairman of the board of Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, member of the board of Kommuninvest of Sweden, a public sector owned and guaranteed credit market company regulated by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, and President of CECODHAS Housing Europe is the Federation of public, cooperative and social housing.

He is also participating in the session on “Capacity for regulatory framework of housing”, led by Ara Nazinyan from Social Housing Foundation, Armenia.

Rediscovering housing possibilities: could less be more?

Rediscovering Housing Possibilities: could less be more?

The first IFHP Housing Conference takes place in The Hague

International Federation for Housing and Planning is organizing an Housing debate amongst policy makers, practitioners, mayors and private sector organizations involved in the delivery of affordable, adequate and sustainable housing. The conference is organized as a high level, interactive and learning event to enable knowledge exchange and sharing of experience between peers and interested parties from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The Hague Housing Conference is a think tank to share ideas, network and cross-fertilize with global housing experts. Under the title “Rediscovering Housing Possibilities: could less be more?“, the conference will take place in the city of The Hague on 14 February, 2013, from 9:00 to 18:00, at the Bel Air Hotel, The Hague, The Netherlands.

For more information visit the International Federation for Housing and Planning website.