These issues and more will be the focus of the seventh Asia-Pacific Housing Forum on 16-19 September 2019 at the Grand Hyatt Erawan, Bangkok, Thailand. Organized by Habitat for Humanity and partners, the conference will bring together industry leaders, innovators, and disruptors in the affordable housing sector. With the theme “Powering collaboration for housing impact”, stakeholders will be engaged in finding solutions for inadequate shelter issues and underscore the role of affordable housing as a driver of economic growth.
The Asia-Pacific region is home to 2.1 billion urban residents, constituting 60 percent of the global urban population, as mentioned in a 2017 UNESCAP report. Rapid urbanization, population growth, and limited resources have placed enormous pressure on governments to provide adequate housing. In Thailand, as of 2014, over 80 percent of the country’s 7.1 million poor live in rural areas. An additional 6.7 million were living within 20 percent above the national poverty line and remained vulnerable to fall back into poverty.
Working with like-minded partners in the country, Habitat Thailand has collaborated with 11,500 families or over 46,000 people to build, repair, and rehabilitate their homes. They have also implemented community development programs for livelihood and home-based business.
The Forum in Thailand will build collaboration between organizations with the capacity to positively affect the low-cost housing sector; recognize and act on the importance of shelter as a driver of inclusion, resilience and sustainability in human settlements; and promote leaders and sector players with innovative and high-impact housing initiatives through sharing of best practices.
Four conference tracks and over twenty sessions on impact investing, inclusion and sustainability in urban development, resilient cities and communities, and responsive housing technologies will be conducted. The event expects over 400 delegates who will participate in multiple activities, including a youth congress, training course, and innovation awards. In the lead up to the Bangkok Forum, in-country events have already taken place in Bangladesh, New Zealand, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines from April to July this year.
The 7th Asia-Pacific Housing Forum is supported by Ananda Development and the Hilti Foundation. Other partners include UN-Habitat, Cities Alliance, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, World Bank, Arup, and the University of New South Wales.