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Affordable and Social Housing, Housing Finance

The Ministry for Regional Development of the Czech Republic and the UNECE organised the UNECE Workshop on Social Housing which was held in Prague from 19 to 20 May 2003. The workshop was organised jointly with and the European Liaison Committee for Social Housing (CECODHAS).

In 2004, the Committee on Housing and Land Management organized the International Symposium on Social Housing in Vienna and published the symposium proceedings containing concrete policy recommendations to the governments and stakeholders.

Based on the discussions at these two important events, the UNECE Guidelines on Social Housing were prepared and published in 2006. The Committee has developed also principles and examples on Housing Finance Systems for Countries in Transition.

In 2012, UNECE and UN Habitat organised a regional training workshop on "Affordable housing provision in CIS countries" (Minsk, 2011). The workshop targeted national policy makers and experts and helped to strengthen their knowledge and skills in areas such as social (rental) housing, energy efficiency in housing, the management and maintenance of multi-family houses and housing finance.

The UNECE workshop on, “Future of Social Housing Environmental and Social Challenges and the Way Forward” was organised on 4 and 5 February 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland, in cooperation with UN-Habitat and the European Federation of Public, Cooperative & Social Housing (CECODHAS). A report summarising the discussions at the workshop has been published.

The Strategy for Sustainable Housing and Land Management in the ECE region for the period 2014-2020, was developed by the Committee in 2012-2014 and adopted by the Ministerial Meeting on Housing and Land Management on 8 October 2013 in Geneva. The Strategy aims at promoting sustainable housing and land management in the ECE region.

The Geneva UN Charter on Sustainable Housing, a non-legally binding document that aims to support member States as they seek to ensure access to decent, adequate, affordable and healthy housing for all, was negotiated by the UNECE member States in 2009-2015. It was endorsed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe on 16 April 2015.

A comprehensive study, “Social Housing in the UNECE Region: Models, Trends and Challenges” was published in 2015. It examines the trends, challenges and social housing models in the UNECE region. It provides recommendations for possible future activities based on an extensive written review of housing issues in over 50 countries and interviews with over 30 representatives of governments, private and third-sector organizations.

Please see a video featuring interviews with senior governments’ representatives from the UNECE region on social housing trends and challenges.

The Committee organizes regular national and regional capacity building workshops on affordable housing.