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21st Century Housing Challenges to be addressed through a Charter on Sustainable Housing

Published: 08 May 2014

There are many challenges facing housing in the 21st Century in the UNECE region. The continuing economic crisis and high unemployment levels have limited access to affordable and healthy housing. The housing sector is responsible for some 40% of energy consumption and CO2 emissions also has an inordinate impact on the environment because of its high consumption of primary resources (land and non-renewable building materials). A changing climate has resulted in an increased number of natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, landslides and not to mention human-generated disasters, all of which have resulted in large-scale damage to housing and have become a serious challenge in the UNECE region. All this calls for urgent action by governments to address jointly issues of sustainable housing and urban development.


On 7 May 2014, government ministers, heads of agencies and representatives from 27 countries supported by representatives from UN agencies, municipalities, academia, private sector and NGOs decided to address these challenges through a Charter on Sustainable Housing in the UNECE region. The first step in this process was the agreement on the scope and objectives of the Charter. This is the outcome of a four year political process on the development of an international instrument to support sustainable housing led by the Bureau of the UNECE’s Committee on Housing and Land Management.


The proposed Charter will develop a framework for concerted actions by member States to improve housing and living conditions in the region. It will support the building of green and socially inclusive human settlements and the long-term sustainability of the housing sector as well as strengthening the implementation of existing UNECE housing guidelines, policy recommendations, action plans and other documents.

 

For more information, please visit: http://www.unece.org/hlm/welcome.html or contact:
Gulnara Roll, Head
Housing and Land Management Unit
Economic Cooperation, Trade, and Land Management Division
Email: Gulnara.Roll@unece.org
Telephone: +41 (0)22 917 22 57


Note to editors

Committee on Housing and Land Management

The Committee on Housing and Land Management, established in 1947 to provide support to governments in the post-war reconstruction of the housing stock in Europe, is one of the oldest Committees of the UNECE. The Committee on Housing and Land Management is an intergovernmental body representing the 56 UNECE member States. Its main mission is to address the unique housing and land-management challenges of the region through assessing countries' housing systems, developing policy guidance, and providing advisory services and capacity-building activities.

The Committee’s work is supported by the Working Party on Land Administration, which specifically deals with issues related to land management and real estate markets and by the Real Estate Market Advisory Group, which provides a private sector perspective.


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