‘Davos of poverty housing’ to tap public, private, people sectors’ support in sub-standard shelter issues in Asia-Pacific

Organized by Habitat for Humanity International, the Asia-Pacific Housing Forum expects to draw 700 policy makers, business and NGO thought leaders

Bangkok, 4 July 2013 – The leading platform for advocating affordable housing solutions and decent shelter for low-income families in the region will return to Manila this year. The fourth Asia-Pacific Housing Forum, organized by Habitat for Humanity International, will be held at Dusit Thani Manila from 2-4 October. The event was last hosted in the Philippine capital in 2009. The biennial forum brings under one roof, public, private and people sector stakeholders engaged in seeking solutions to poverty housing issues.

“Our Forum has gained considerable traction over the years. Like a ‘Davos of poverty housing’, it is an incubator for leading minds to offer creative solutions to address housing issues in Asia-Pacific. One in eight still lives in a slum in the region; so there is tremendous scope for collaboration between governments, businesses and the development sector to improve the situation,” said Rick Hathaway, Vice President for Asia-Pacific, Habitat for Humanity International.

He added: “The traditional approach to tackling poverty housing by simply building more homes is one dimensional and limiting. Solving the problem requires addressing affordability of housing finance, climate change and disaster resiliency, land rights inequality, infrastructure planning, basic services provision, sustainable livelihoods, and adoption of green solutions. These are touch points that will be up for discussion at the forum.”

Among the confirmed speakers for the event are policy makers, business titans, and thought leaders from humanitarian agencies and research institutions. They include Jejomar Binay, Philippine Vice President; Alicia Bala, Deputy Secretary of ASEAN; Senator Loren Legarda, member of Philippine Senate; Henry Cisneros, former US Housing Secretary and Founder/Chairman of CityView; Nestor Espenilla, Deputy Governor, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; Rajashree Birla, Chairperson of the Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development; Vikram Gandhi, Founder/CEO of VSG Capital Advisors; Kevin Lim, CEO of First Finance; Suresh K. Krishna, MD of Grameen Koota; Sohail Hasnie, Principal Energy Specialist, SE Asia Department of the Asian Development Bank; Dr. Liu Thai Ker, former CEO of Housing Development Board Singapore and Advisory Board Chairman of Center for Liveable Cities; Hassan Ahmad, CEO of Mercy Relief; Graham Saunders, Head of Shelter and Settlements at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; and Richard Northcote, Head of Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainability of Bayer MaterialScience.

The Forum, themed ‘Housing as a foundation for breaking the poverty cycle’, will feature five discussion tracks, focusing on affordable housing finance, disaster resilience and climate change, shared value and corporate social responsibility leadership, housing policy and advocacy and sustainable housing solutions.

The event will also feature workshops, including a one-day workshop on the Eco-Town Framework by the Philippine Climate Change Commission; and demonstration/discussion workshops by the Asian Development Bank on energy efficiency technologies and sustainable energy for all. Entry to these workshops is included in the registration fee and seats are limited on a first come first served basis.

The Forum is supported by sponsors and partners including Aditya Birla Group, Asian Development Bank, Ayala Corporation, Ayala Land, Bayer MaterialScience, PT Caturkarsa Megatunggal, Cemex Philippines, Citi, Energy Development Corporation, Philippine Housing Urban Development Coordinating Council, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Move.org and Philippine Climate Change Commission.

Registration for the Forum is at www.aphousingforum.org.