May 10, 2016 public statement

Habitat for Humanity applauds inclusion of housing and other essential factors in zero draft of New Urban Agenda

WASHINGTON (May 10, 2016) – The Bureau of the Habitat III Preparatory Committee recently released the zero draft of the New Urban Agenda, which was created in consultation and coordination with numerous sectors and stakeholders around the globe, including Habitat for Humanity. This zero draft of what will be the final outcome document of the Habitat III conference sets the world on the right path toward a sustainable urban strategy that addresses housing and settlement challenges for decades to come. Habitat III is a critical opportunity to reinvigorate commitment to sustainable development as the global rate of urbanization continues to increase.

“Habitat for Humanity applauds members of the Bureau of the Habitat III Preparatory Committee, the Habitat III Secretariat and Member States for ensuring that the zero draft addresses housing and settlement challenges by placing ‘adequate housing and shelter at the center of the New Urban Agenda,’” said Chris Vincent, vice president for Government Relations and Advocacy at Habitat for Humanity International. “To succeed, the New Urban Agenda must promote community-led development, prioritize security of tenure, emphasize adequate and affordable housing’s role in creating sustainable cities and set specific and accountable measures. We are pleased by the inclusion of robust language on the first three factors and look forward to working with the Bureau to strengthen the document over the next few months. A focused, forward-looking and action-oriented outcome from the Habitat III conference is critical to the world’s shared future.”

While progress has been made, the world’s ability to meet the housing needs of the global urban population is currently outpaced by the rate of urbanization. Through the New Urban Agenda, Habitat III can address this need and support ending global poverty, but only if the outcome document includes detailed and measurable commitments that contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and account for ongoing growth of cities. While the zero draft outlines specific commitments and approaches required to catalyze a more sustainable urban future, subsequent versions must include targets and outline measures to enhance accountability.

Read more information on Habitat’s engagement in the Habitat III process.