UNUnited Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Press Release

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Making Affordable Housing an Achievable Vision

First training workshop on “Affordable Housing Provision in CIS countries”
Raubichi, Belarus, 14-17 March 2011

Geneva, 22 March 2011 --

To achieve the goal of ensuring adequate housing choice and affordability, housing issues needs to be placed high on national development agendas. This was one of the main messages given to the participants of the first training workshop on “Affordable Housing Provision in CIS countries”, which was held in Raubichi, Belarus from 14 to 17 March 2011.

Organized jointly by UNECE, UN-HABITAT and the Ministry of Architecture and Construction of Belarus, the workshop brought together more than 30 government officials and experts from nine CIS countries who are directly responsible for housing policy development and implementation.

To make housing affordable and energy efficient is a challenge in the UNECE region, particularly in countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Housing costs are constantly going up, which has serious implications for the population, and especially for vulnerable groups. Inadequate instruments for financing public housing, underdeveloped or unbalanced housing markets, and a lack of local and national capacity further reduce housing affordability and increase the number and size of informal settlements.

The overall objective of the training was to strengthen the capacity of national experts to address the challenge of affordable housing. The workshop provided experience-based knowledge and international case studies illustrating various policy approaches developed in the UNECE region to secure access to housing. 

Presentations at the workshop highlighted the most common challenges to ensuring sustainable housing in CIS countries, and provided expert advice on how to develop effective policy responses. They also showcased good practices in achieving affordable and energy efficient housing.

The workshop devoted particular attention to issues such as social and rental housing, legal mechanisms to secure housing accessibility, financial and economic aspects of social housing provision, policies and technological aspects of housing energy efficiency, and the maintenance and management approaches to multi-family housing.

Open and lively discussions during the workshop also led to the identification of a number of country-specific needs and areas that could be addressed by future capacity-building activities in support of the development of a sustainable housing sector in CIS countries.

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Sergii Yampolskyi
Secretary to the Committee on Housing and Land Management
UNECE Trade and Sustainable Land Management Division
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Tel: +41 (0)22 917 3663 
Fax: +41 (0)22 917 0107
E-mail: serhii.yampolskyi@unece.org

Ref: ECE/HLM/11/P01