The eighth Habitat for Humanity Asia Pacific Housing Forum, which took place virtually from Dec. 7-9, 2021, was attended by 2,060 people and featured more than 180 speakers. The forum underlined the importance of multi-sector partnerships and increasing access to safer, more sustainable and disaster-resilient homes for everyone, particularly for vulnerable and marginalized populations.
The opportunity to be a judge on this panel gave me a unique insight into current Innovations in housing for vulnerable and marginalized populations, and how companies like ours can support and be a thought leader in the area of safer, more affordable housing for those groups.”
This global housing forum was a major collaboration between Whirlpool Corporation and Habitat for Humanity International. Whirlpool Corporation is the Global Gold Sponsor.
The Asia Pacific Forum’s four program tracks focused on building resilient cities and communities, innovating housing solutions and technologies, advancing sustainability in the housing sector, and financing affordable housing. Economic growth and climate change adaptation were major themes for the conference. The forum also included ancillary events, such as a training course on land tenure and land value capture, the third Youth Congress—which resulted in a Youth Declaration based on input from the participants—and the Innovation Awards’ grand premiere.
Key components of each housing forum include its best practices competitions, also known as the Innovation Awards. These competitions promote advances to create affordable housing solutions and demonstrate the importance of collaboration, especially through people-public-private partnerships. Each forum identified some of the most innovative initiatives in each region: in the categories of Shelter Technology, Public Policy, and Inspiring Practices. Whirlpool Corporation sponsored the Inspiring Practices Competition.
The Innovation Awards committee presented videos from the top 12 innovators at the grand premiere on Dec. 1, 2021, where finalists pitched their initiatives. A jury whose members work in the field of affordable, resilient housing, including representatives from Whirlpool Corporation, reviewed the submissions.
Whirlpool brand and Corporate Communications Lead for Asia, Pansy Chan, and Rosa Skinner, manager of Global Corporate Social Responsibility, helped determine the winner of the Inspirational Practices category: LaRaksha Social Impact Trust’s Roofing Loan. LaRaksha provides loans to lower-income groups in rural areas in India and plans to upgrade the quality of shelters in vulnerable coastal, rural communities, while encouraging the use of sustainable and eco-friendly building materials. Their video submission can be viewed here.
“The opportunity to be a judge on this panel gave me a unique insight into current Innovations in housing for vulnerable and marginalized populations, and how companies like ours can support and be a thought leader in the area of safer, more affordable housing for those groups,” said Skinner. “Participating in programs or forums such as this one fit well into our corporate vision of improving life at home.”