Habitat III Sins of Omission

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Habitat III Sins of Omission
By: Habitat for People - Not for Profit!
01 February 2016

Today, a movement of concerned organizations engaged in the Habitat III process issued a public challenge to the organizers of the global process to rethink their omissions and design flaws affecting the public debate. From the beginning of the deliberative and reporting processes, the Habitat III Secretariat, UN-Habitat leadership and decision makers have been charged with narrowing the long-standing Habitat Agenda to a partial and exclusive “urban agenda” and abandoning the standing commitments made 20 years ago.

Other problems with the substance of the Habitat Debate arise from the deliberate neglect of substantive issues from the formal inputs (e.g., Policy Papers and Policy Unit Frameworks) such as normative development of the human right to adequate, as well as a review of population policies and their link to the housing crisis and urbanization.

This time, a group of NGOs and academics have focused on the glaring need for a critical review of the macroeconomic context and its effect on housing, land and human settlement development. That is despite the combined 20-year-long Habitat II commitments to (1) maintaining just macroeconomic policies[1]and (2) assessing progress.[2]

The authors of the open letter, “Habitat for People - Not for Profit!” call onto Habitat III organizers to maintain the integrity of the Habitat Agenda and its promises by integrating a thoughtful analysis of financialization of housing and land to make social regulation of real estate markets an issue in the new Habitat Agenda this year.

Download the open letter.

[1] Habitat II (1996), paras. 40(a), 62, 65, 67(b) 115, 186(d), 189(b) and 201(b).

[2] Habitat II (1996), paras. 8, 51-52, 91f, 215, 221, 222, 233, 228m, 238d.

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