More than 1,700 people have registered to virtually attend Habitat for Humanity’s Asia-Pacific Housing Forum Dec. 7-9. This year’s theme, Building Forward Better for Inclusive Housing highlights the urgent need for affordable housing solutions. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the global housing crisis — more than 1.6 billion people are in need of adequate shelter worldwide — and has made clear the importance of having safe, secure and adequate housing for the health and well-being of every person around the world.
This global housing forum, in addition to two others this year in Europe and Latin America, is a major feature of the multifaceted partnership between Whirlpool Corporation and Habitat for Humanity International. Whirlpool Corporation is the Global Gold Sponsor of these housing forums.
The four tracks, or areas of discussion, planned for the forum are:
- Building resilient cities and communities: Focusing on how governments and other stakeholders can contribute to a more sustainable urban future.
- Innovative housing solutions and technologies: Exploring ways in which the growing need for affordable housing solutions can be addressed using innovative housing solutions and technologies.
- Advancing sustainability in the housing sector: Looking at ways in which the environmental, social, cultural and economic dimensions of housing sustainability can be harmonized to ensure sustainable and equitable cities and communities.
- Financing affordable housing: Examining financing instruments of different actors in both public and private sectors for funding affordable housing.
The forum will also include a training course on land tenure and markets, and a youth congress that will highlight the need for decent, affordable housing and the ways young people can help address the housing challenge.
One key component of each of the housing forums is the Best Practices competitions. Each forum will identify some of the most innovative initiatives in each region in the categories of Shelter Technology, Public Policy and Inspiring Practices. Whirlpool is the sponsor of the Inspiring Practices competition, which recognizes practices from public or public-private partnerships that contribute to improved communities and settlements and increased access to affordable housing for the most disadvantaged segments of society. Below are the four finalists in that category:
- Angirus: Building for Sustainable Future — Wricks (bricks made of 100% recycled waste material), India
- Kawayan Collective — A bamboo social enterprise, Philippines
- LaRaksha Social Impact Trust — Raksha roofing loan, India
- The Hong Kong Council of Social Service — Transitional Social Housing Project: Construction and Social Service, Hong Kong SAR
At the virtual grand premiere on Dec. 1, the finalists presented their ideas to a jury panel and an audience who joined the event online to cast their votes. In each category, the winner will receive US$5,000 to expand their project or initiative.