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Focus Area 3: Access to Land and Housing for All
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UN-HABITAT's work in the following countries is specifically related to Access to Land and Housing for All


In Brief
There are over 1 billion slum dwellers globally and their number is expected to rise over the next 30 years to about 2 billion. In response, UN-HABITAT is mobilizing a global coalition of partners to address the challenges presented by unsustainable urbanization.

UN-HABITAT's vision is "to help create by 2013 the necessary conditions for concerted international and national efforts to stabilize the growth of slums and to set the stage for the subsequent reduction of the number of slum dwellers and reversal of the current trend of unbridled urban slum proliferation".

This vision, derived from the Millennium Development Goals, requires systemic reform to improve access to land and housing for all.

UN-HABITAT supports national and local governments and Habitat Agenda partners to put in place better land and housing policies. The agency is focusing on three outcomes: supporting enabling land and housing reforms; increasing security of tenure; and promoting slum improvement and slum prevention policies.

There are a number of important activities in the UN-HABITAT approach, including promoting alternatives to eviction, producing a major new global policy paper on housing, and producing country housing profiles and the State of the World's Housing report. In addition, the agency is developing new land tools to implement pro-poor land policies, promoting a range of land rights rather than just individual titles, and strengthening the UN system's capacity to address housing, land, and property issues after conflict or a natural disaster has occurred.

UN-HABITAT continues to promote ways to decrease or adapt to the risks associated with global climate change. All activities are gender-responsive.

Our Approach
UN-HABITAT is committed to supporting national and local governments and Habitat Agenda partners to improve access to land and housing, including in crisis-affected countries.

Access to a range of affordable land and housing options at the desired scale is necessary for slum prevention. The institutional, legal, and regulatory frameworks that govern the land and housing sectors are essential for reducing slum formation.

UN-HABITAT considers equitable access to housing and land a crucial issue for slum prevention, housing delivery, city management, infrastructure and service delivery, environmental management, community facilities, economic growth, finance, and investments.

While in some countries the best point of entry for land and housing matters is the national or federal level, in others city-level interventions are more effective.

Expected Accomplishments
The Focus Area 3 expected accomplishments are as follows:

  1. Land and housing reforms supported through improving knowledge of innovative land and housing policies, programmes and tools; increasing policy implementation capacities; and promoting hazard-resistant and sustainable housing construction
  2. Security of tenure increased through increased knowledge and capacity to achieve equitable land and housing rights; promoting alternative approaches to forced evictions; and addressing housing, land, and property issues in crisis contexts
  3. Slum improvement and slum prevention promoted through improved knowledge and capacity to develop and implement slum upgrading and prevention policies and strategies

Getting It Done
UN-HABITAT has three activity pillars for working towards access to land and housing for all: knowledge management and advocacy; capacity building at the global and regional level; and supporting implementation at the country and local level.

The Gender Action Plan strengthens gender equality and women's empowerment in all areas of UN-HABITAT's work related to land and housing.

Working Together
New collaborations are expanding UN-HABITAT's relationships with external organizations, a pool of international housing experts, and other parts of the agency. UN-HABITAT will deepen its engagement with Global Land Tool Network partners, while expanding its network to include multilateral and bilateral donors and increasing its coordination role.

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