Affordable Housing Innovation to Foster Cities' Culture and Diversity

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Hall 4, Room C
Summary

Access to adequate and affordable housing is crucial to promote socially and economically diverse cities and neighborhoods, in which residents have access to quality facilities, services, amenities, and employment opportunities. Culturally and socially diverse neighborhoods require a mix of different housing types, such as small and large units; apartments, multifamily buildings, and single-family homes; rental and ownership units, as well as housing units with diverse costs to ensure neighborhoods remain affordable to low and moderateincome residents.

The primary challenge for diverse neighborhoods in a strong housing market is typically preserving longterm housing affordability for lowincome residents. Increased demand for housing can put upward pressure on housing prices and rents, making neighborhoods less affordable. The increase in rents and property values are correlated with changes in the neighborhood’s character and culture and often with the displacement of low- and moderate-income residents. Protecting the existing affordable housing stock is crucial for cities concerned with the future of social and economic diversity of their neighborhoods.

The special session on housing will explore innovative housing solutions to preserve and create affordable housing bringing together UN-Habitat partners working on outstanding innovations in the housing sector to share experiences and strengthen collaborations towards the realization of the right to adequate housing for all. In order to facilitate these collaborations, bridging the gap towards sharing knowledge, designing solutions and championing changes on the ground, this special session will showcase inspiring innovations and frontier technologies that contribute to finding durable solutions for adequate and affordable housing delivery.

During this event, UN-Habitat will also launch the Global Housing Network as a global platform for governments, the private sector, civil society and intergovernmental and international organizations to work collaboratively to make progress towards the realization of the SDG Goal 11.1 to ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing.

Objectives

The main objectives of the special session on Housing are to identify priorities for the realization of the SDG Goal 11.1 to ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and to launch the Global Housing Network, establishing key working areas that will orient the work of the Global Housing Network and the focus of its activities.

The special session will be the start of a collaboration intended to raise awareness around global housing issues with the purpose of achieving sustainable, affordable and inclusive housing. The aim of the event will be to engage national and local governments, development finance institutions, NGOs, civil society, universities and research centers in addressing housing challenges as central to achieving the New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal 11. Those attending will be provided the opportunity to exchange opinions and best practices regarding the current state of housing affordability and accessibility and will have the opportunity to join the Global Housing Network.

Guiding Questions
  1. What’s the relationship between urban culture, diversity, inclusion, and affordable housing?
  2. How are real estate investments impacting the culture of cities?
  3. What kind of housing innovations can contribute to preserve the urban culture in cities and neighborhoods, while expanding the affordable housing stock? What role plays technology in the housing sector?
  4. What kind of policies and regulations allow for housing affordability, diversity, and innovation?
  5. How can the private sector contribute to develop affordable and sustainable housing finance markets?

Session Speakers