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Affordable Housing Activation Declaration

Carlota Roncal



Thursday, June 30, 2022


Multifunction Hall Room 14
Spanish Council of Architects
Equitable urban futures
NE 194


According to UN-Habitat´s World Cities Report 2020 housing affordability is a global challenge that affects virtually all households. Globally, prospective homeowners are compelled to save more than five times their annual income to afford the price of a standard house. Renter households often spend more than 25 per cent of their monthly income on rent. And in the last 50 years, according to IMF “Global Housing Watch”, housing prices in high-income countries increased three times more than the prices of other basic services.

High levels of unaffordability mean that inadequate housing and slums remain the only housing option for low-income households. Currently, 1.6 billion people or 20 per cent of the world’s population live in inadequate, crowded, and unsafe housing.

The Covid-19 has accentuated, even more, the inequalities and has highlighted the absence of an action framework that responds to the barriers that hinder access to housing. Access to decent and adequate housing is, in summary, one of the great challenges that today's society is facing.

In 2018, the city of Madrid was selected by the Union Internationale des Architectes (UIA) for hosting the first UIA INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON “AFFORDABLE HOUSING”. The event (May 2022), organized by the Spanish Chapter of UIA (Spanish Council of Architects - CSCAE), is an important global event for the debate on the issue of housing, particularly in relation to its affordability, from a human rights perspective.

The UIA International Forum on Affordable Housing aims to promote the joint work of interested actors, both from the government sphere and from the private sphere, to generate a collaborative framework and be a global meeting place to establish concrete proposals for the current state of housing and possible lines of action in the medium and long term, with an inclusive, transversal, and holistic approach to analyze the barriers to affordable housing and solutions at a global level. It is conceived as part of a longer process, from preparatory meetings (regional and sectoral) to follow-up actions.

This event at WUF is conceived as part of this process: the global platform where the conclusions reached during the UIA Forum (and on the build-up to the Forum) can be shared to the global community.

The focus of the discussion will be the problems that hinder access to housing, and will include a specific look at discrimination, which in this area affects issues related to legislation and policies, exclusive development, security of tenure, participation, etc. Environmental sustainability, the climate emergency, the demographic crisis, equitable fiscal policies, urban models, and systems based on land use are some of the arguments that will be discussed, thanks to the contributions of international experts.

The partners directly involved in the event at WUF11 are the International Union of Architects (UIA), the Spanish Council of Architects (CSCAE) and OnCities2030. 


The main objective of this event is to (re)position housing within the global contemporary debate on economically viable, environmentally, and culturally sustainable and socially inclusive cities. It pursues to solidify the goals stablished with the UIA International Forum on Affordable Housing: to set long-term benchmarks, strengthen global networks and alliances, and gain the maximum support of organizations, governments, entities, and institutions towards solutions to housing affordability challenges, as well as to promote synergies that can develop comprehensive projects and strategies. The expected outcome is an increased knowledge exchange, advocacy generated and strengthened alliances with global stakeholders related to affordable housing.

Session speakers

Mr. José Luis Cortes
Ms. Marta Vall-llosera
Mr. Robert Lewis-Lettington
Chief of the Land, Housing and Shelter Section at UN-Habitat
Ms. Ana Moreno
Ms. Angela Baldellou Plaza
Executive Director
AHA Forum