Adequate housing takes center stage at regional Forum

MONTERREY, Mexico (May 19, 2015) — Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, summed up the general consensus at the 2nd Latin American and the Caribbean Housing Forum: “The right to adequate housing must be integrated into all relevant discussions within the Habitat III process. Housing is absolutely central in people’s lives, so it must be central to Habitat III”.

The Forum, which took place in Monterrey, Mexico (May 6-8), gathered around 500 representatives from the private, public and non-profit sectors in preparation for the UN Conference, Habitat III. As the lead organizer, Habitat for Humanity worked with the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Federation of the Red Cross, Habitat International Coalition, Cities Alliances and UN-Habitat.

The Forum’s aim was to build a regional agenda that promotes decent housing as the cornerstone of sustainable, prosperous and inclusive cities. Topics such as secure tenure, resilient communities, healthy housing and market development were addressed.

Keynote speakers included Farha; Mexico’s Secretary of Housing, Jesus Murillo Karam; UN-Habitat regional director, Elkin Velasquez; Paraguay’s Housing Minister, Soledad Nunez; Brazil’s Housing Secretary, Ines Magalhaes; US politician and businessman, Henry Cisneros; as well as housing vice ministers from El Salvador and Ecuador.

“At Habitat, we feel very pleased with the Forum’s success. Without a doubt, engagement and high quality dialogue were achieved between regional leaders in the public, private and civil society sectors; hopefully, this will result in more families having a decent place to live”, said Torre Nelson, Habitat Latin America and the Caribbean vice president.

Forum participants had the chance to learn about more than 50 successful experiences from different Latin American and Caribbean countries related to healthy housing, financing and market development models, advocacy for secure tenure, risk reduction, among others. Also, Habitat’s global campaign, Solid Ground, was launched to promote secure tenure as a key component of adequate housing.

The Forum’s final recommendations will contribute to the New Urban Agenda that is being developed for the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, Habitat III, to take place in Quito, Ecuador, on October 2016.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that safe and affordable housing provides a path out of poverty, since 1976 Habitat has helped more than 5 million people through home construction, rehabilitation and repairs and by increasing access to improved shelter through products and services. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and offers a variety of housing support services that enable families with limited means to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. To learn more, donate or volunteer, visit