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Sustainable Housing and Real Estate Markets

The Committee on Housing and Land Management has been working on assisting member States towards improving the sustainability of their housing sectors in the course of the last 65 years through the provision of policy guidance, advisory services and capacity building activities.

Energy Efficiency in Housing

In particular, the Committee works to improve housing energy efficiency and to facilitate the maintenance, management and refurbishment of existing housing stock. The Committee issued the publication Green Homes and an Action Plan for Energy-efficient Housing in the UNECE Region, which provides a framework for Governments to overcome barriers to energy efficiency investments in the residential sector. As a result member States requested that work be undertaken to assist countries in the preparation of national action plans for energy efficiency in the residential sector and develop a casebook of good practices on energy efficiency.

Social Housing and Finance

Work also focuses on the social dimension of sustainable housing to address housing affordability, social housing and low-cost housing. In particular, the UNECE Guidelines on Social Housing were designed to enable policymakers to assess the various options that are available for the provision of social housing. The Committee has developed also principles and examples on Housing Finance Systems for Countries in Transition. In addition, the Committee organizes capacity building workshops on affordable housing.

Disaster Risk Reduction

The activities of the Committee also provide an opportunity to look at how to adapt the housing supply to demographic change and ensure access to healthy and safe homes for the population in the region. A forum on Natural Disasters and Building and Construction Safety was organized in collaboration with the secretariat of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction in Baku in November 2010. A joint seminar with UNECE Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents on Land Use Planning Around Hazardous Industrial Sites was held in the Hague on 11 – 12 November 2010 As a follow up to this event, in April 2013, the Committee organized a seminar exploring approaches to prevent risks from industrial sites and ensure safer homes in safer places. The seminar took place within the Europe and Central Asia Second Housing Forum.

Real Estate Markets

The UNECE Real Estate Market Advisory Group (REM) is a group of real estate experts who advise the Committee and the CHLM on sustainable real estate markets. They work to create publications on real estate, including the Policy Framework for Sustainable Real Estate Markets, a tool to help guide member States to create sustainable real estate market. They advise national Governments through roundtable discussions, which aim to identify specific measures to strengthen a country’s real estate markets and contribute to economic growth.

Celebrating World Habitat Day

In addition, as a platform for exchange of experience and best practice, in 2012, the Committee organized a video exhibit on the occasion of World Habitat Day featuring sustainable buildings from more than 25 countries. Buildings that were presented included an “Efficiency House Plus with Electric Mobility” in Berlin, as well as a traditional yurt, which was installed in the gardens of the Palais des Nations. In 2013, World Habitat Day will be held back-to-back with the Ministerial Meeting and an exhibition of disaster relief housing will be organized.