Sustainable, affordable housing for all
(MAKATI, September 26, 2023) With a backlog of 6.7 million housing units, addressing the country’s housing needs is an enormous task that calls for collaboration of different stakeholders from various sectors. Spearheading the platform for intensive housing discussions, leading non-profit housing organization and shelter advocate Habitat for Humanity Philippines will once again stage the Philippines Housing Forum on September 26, 2023, at the New World Makati Hotel.
Coming from a virtual conference in 2021, the biennial event aims to gather around 100 participants from the national and local government, private sector, people and civil society organizations, non-government institutions, and the academe in a more people-centered and action-driven face-to-face forum. This year’s Philippines Housing Forum is a lead-in event to the 9th Asia Pacific Housing Forum in Suwon, South Korea, and the Philippine Urban Forum (PhUF) in Manila happening in October.
“As we mark our 35th-year milestone, Habitat for Humanity Philippines continues its commitment to help more low-income and informal settler families access decent, affordable housing and urge leaders and policymakers to create an environment that enables this,” said Habitat Philippines Chair of the National Board of Trustees Monique Lopez. “In this year’s Philippines Housing Forum, we will not just convene housing experts as we have done in the past. It is important to us that our communities voice out and participate through this avenue; to speak, be heard, and partake in the discussion of programs that serve them,” Lopez added.
Carrying the theme “Facilitating sustainable and affordable housing in low-income and informal settlements,” the Philippines Housing Forum will focus on two tracks that will be expounded during the plenary sessions. The first track will delve into solutions to address the housing deficit in the country with a particular focus on how low-income and informal settler families can access housing programs that are inclusive, affordable, and well planned, and encourage multi-stakeholder participation.
Significantly contributing to multi-sectoral efforts to address housing challenges are huge real estate firms and property developers like Ayala Land, Inc .and Megaworld Corporation, which both expressed support for the forum and its goals.
“Ayala Land is committed to nation-building and improving the well-being of Filipinos. We consider affordable housing a fundamental aspect of sustainable development. By supporting Habitat for Humanity, we can contribute to creating inclusive communities and empowering individuals and families through decent shelter,” said Ayala Land, the largest property developer in the Philippines.
“We take pride in partnering with key organizations in the country, such as Habitat for Humanity Philippines, and fulfill our part in responding to the housing needs of Filipino families. Housing has always been among the biggest challenges here in the Philippines, and it is only through forging strategic partnerships that we can really make an impact and build decent communities that become foundations of a strong, resilient, and sustainable nation,” said property giant Megaworld in a statement.
The second track will discuss policies and partnerships that promote access to resilient but affordable construction technologies and methodologies. Supported by Habitat for Humanity’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter (TCIS), the session will tackle the value of investing in resilient construction technologies and crafting policies to improve access of informal settler families to disaster-resilient, affordable housing.
“Habitat for Humanity’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter believes that through the session, we can further highlight how we can start making greenclusive (green and inclusive) housing more affordable and accessible, from environmentally aware planning and design to creating an enabling policy environment,” said TCIS Philippine country director Jessan Catre, who will also serve as one of the forum speakers.
The afternoon breakout sessions will be facilitated by resource persons from the fields of governance, architecture, and sustainable development. Inputs from the breakout sessions will contribute to the crafting of the Philippine New Urban Agenda Country Report and the Manila Urban Declaration, which will be presented in the PhUF on October 5 and 6, 2023.
About Habitat for Humanity Philippines
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort. The Christian housing organization has since become a leading global non-profit working in more than 70 countries. In the Philippines, since 1988, Habitat for Humanity has helped more than 150,000 families have a safe and decent home; built and empowered over 200 communities nationwide; supported 934,120 households to improve their homes through financial services. By donating, volunteering, or advocating for affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability, and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, donate, or volunteer, visit www.habitat.org.ph.