Habitat for Humanity’s 5th Housing Forum

Habitat for Humanity’s 5th Housing Forum

Bogotá, Colombia. July 2023

Latin American authorities analyze climate change and its effects on housing in the region

  • Habitat for Humanity’s 5th Housing Forum in Bogotá brings together representatives of the United Nations, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, government, private sector, academia and civil society, among others.
  • The event’s aims are for authorities to be able to recognize urgent challenges in housing and habitat, share and propose solutions, and summon the commitment, investments and resources this emergency demands.

Colombia, July 2023. Under the premise that Latin America and the Caribbean is the second most disaster-prone region in the world, authorities and climate change experts meet this week in Bogotá to analyze current effects of the climate crisis on housing in Colombia and the region. Participants will also learn about affordable and resilient solutions to reduce the current housing deficit, which was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This analysis will take place during the 5th Housing Forum, a regional event organized by Habitat for Humanity and convened through the Urban Housing Practitioners Hub (UHPH). Colombia’s Ministry of Housing, City and Territory, the Secretariat of Habitat and the Bogotá Mayor’s Office are co-hosts. Participating during the three days of the forum will be representatives of the United Nations, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), private sector, academia, civil society, community leaders, local and regional governments, and others.

Latin American situation

According to IDB, 45% of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean does not have an adequate place to live. This means people are living in homes built of precarious materials with little resilience to climate change, lacking basic services, many with dirt floors and on land that doesn’t belong to them.

Disasters such as hurricanes, droughts and more are a reality millions of Latin Americans face in their homes every year. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), indicates that worsening climate change and the combined effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have stalled decades of progress against poverty, food insecurity and inequities. In addition, ECLAC calculates that in 2022, the value of all damage and economic losses related directly or indirectly to disasters in the region amounted to $1.789 billion.

The current housing crisis affects the most vulnerable sectors of the population above all, among them women, migrants, ethnic groups, young people and the elderly. Day after day they experience the effects on health, on security and on their lives from not having a safe place to call home. Given this situation, the forum is being held so that authorities are able to recognize urgent climate and social challenges in housing and habitat, as well as to share and propose innovative, scalable and responsible solutions addressing climate change, and summon the commitment, investments and resources the emergency demands.

The event will also include an examination of 12 innovative initiatives that strengthen housing in the face of climate change effects, and which will receive recognition during a special award ceremony as the winners of the 2023 UHPH Inspiring Practices contest. This competition is held every two years to acknowledge and showcase housing initiatives that, through innovation and collaboration, help improve the quality of life of low-income families in the region.

The 5th Housing Forum is held with the support of The Hilti Foundation as global presenter and sponsored by regional partners such as: the Whirlpool Corporation, Grupo Argos, UN-Habitat, Development Bank of Latin America, Swiss Contact, World Vision, the International Habitat Summit-Latin America and the Caribbean, Miyamoto, Eternit and Asociación de Empresas Inmobiliarias del Perú. Previously, the forum was held virtually from Costa Rica in 2021, in Dominican Republic in 2018, Mexico in 2015 and Colombia in 2012.