Habitat PH Delves Into Housing Issues, Sustainable Solutions Through Virtual ‘Philippines Housing Forum’

Photo courtesy of Emanuelle Sawit, Cebu

MANILA, Philippines — In an effort to support the socio-economic growth of low-income families, the leading shelter advocate Habitat for Humanity Philippines will stage the Philippines Housing Forum — a virtual conference that puts housing to the forefront of the national agenda.

Happening from November 10 to 11, 2021, the said event expects 500 participants from the housing sector, national and local government units, business and financing industry, and people’s organizations. The conference will bring together over 70 speakers from housing practitioners, subject-matter experts, policymakers, and stakeholders in thought-provoking plenary discussions and breakout sessions.

The main agenda is to dive deep into the country’s multifaceted housing issues and tackle innovative, sustainable, inclusive solutions to address them.

“Housing is a crucial issue on a global scale. In the Philippines, the lack of safe, adequate housing has been a glaring facet of low-income Filipino families’ reality for generations. The Philippines Housing Forum will serve as a platform for housing stakeholders to convene, talk about the most pressing issues related to housing, and come up with concrete solutions to resolve the issues.” 

Habitat Philippines chief operating officer Lili Fuentes

Carrying the theme “Building forward better for inclusive housing,” the Philippines Housing Forum will highlight four tracks, promoting a holistic, comprehensive approach to addressing the housing problem. 

Photo Courtesy of Sitoy Tano, Negros Occidental

The first track will focus on building resilient cities and communities. In partnership with Base Bahay Foundation, Inc., Habitat for Humanity Philippines invited plenary speakers from various non-profit organizations to tackle well-integrated programs in helping cities and communities overcome the impact of disasters and achieve holistic progress.

“Affordable, decent housing supports the socio-economic growth of low-income families. It is their most expensive family asset. But in a country like the Philippines, that is five times more prone to disasters, the housing solution should also address disaster and climate resiliency.”

Pablo Jorillo, general manager of Base Bahay Foundation

Now, more than ever, the importance of building healthy, resilient, and sustainable cities and communities should take the center stage. Together with Base Bahay, Habitat Philippines will be taking on the challenge of coming up with ways to develop housing construction technologies that are green, sustainable, and resilient for low-income groups and the housing market to access. 

With the country facing a massive housing backlog, further intensified by the rising construction cost and land insecurity, the call for innovative, sustainable housing solutions is urgent. For Track 2, Habitat Philippines partnered with Holcim Philippines. This part of the forum will be focusing on building adequate homes through innovative and sustainable means. Experts from the housing and construction sector, real estate industry, and the academe will discuss technologies and groundbreaking approaches for eco-friendly, climate-resilient, yet affordable housing.

“Helping address the affordable housing challenge in the country is one of our key priority areas at Holcim Philippines. The Housing Forum allows us to demonstrate that our company is an ally in providing decent and affordable homes to every Filipino. We are confident that our commitment to sustainability and strength in innovation will enable us to provide building solutions that can make a positive difference in this area.”

Holcim Philippines chief sustainability officer Zoe Sibala

As the country continues to grapple with the pandemic, Habitat PH continues to find ways and means to help low-income families, especially those living in urban areas, gain access to affordable housing finance. They recognize that many urban poor cannot afford formal housing without effective housing programs and housing finance and through track three of the forum, they intend to highlight these issues. 

Paknaan, Cebu | Photo courtesy of Habitat Philippines

The second to the last track will be examining available housing finance options and investment opportunities to drive affordable housing to scale. Business and finance institutions will discuss housing finance options and investment opportunities to make housing more inclusive and accessible to low-income families.

Lastly, for track four, Habitat Philippines focuses on the need to ensure the success of housing programs. To help meet the growing demand and ensure access to decent housing for all, this track will explore collaboration on policy reform and recommendations to fast track and scale up housing production, discuss government procedures and systems. There will be a sit-down conversation between policymakers, local government leaders, and industry experts as they discuss how to go about facilitating housing production through policies and partnerships.

Each track will also feature breakout sessions to further elaborate the topics for discussion.

We have invited speakers from notable organizations and top-tier institutions to contribute their expertise, insights, and best practices. But, more importantly, we involve people from the community to empower them to raise their voices and let their needs be heard. We call the attention of diverse sectors so we can work together and act with urgency and conviction. We believe that it is only through in-depth understanding, collaboration, commitment, and sustainable actions that we can address this crisis and help uplift the lives of Filipino families through shelter,” remarked Fuentes.

Photo courtesy of Sitoy Tano, Negros Occidental

Supported by Pag-IBIG Fund, Subdivision and Housing Developers Association, Habitat for

Humanity’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter, and Fairbuilding Network, Habitat for Humanity Philippines forges a covenant of commitment among key stakeholders to collaborate towards creating adequate, inclusive, affordable, and sustainable communities through the

Philippines Housing Forum, a lead-in event of the eighth regional Asia-Pacific Housing Forum, organized by Habitat for Humanity Asia-Pacific. This will be held on December 7-9, 2021, via Zoom. 

Be part of the solution! Sign up to get exclusive access to the Philippines Housing  Forum.

Leave a Reply