News Archive


IHC Hosts Panel at the InterAction Forum in Washington D.C.

August 2011

The IHC will be co-sponsoring a panel discussion with Habitat for Humanity International at this year’s InterAction Forum on August 12th. Titled “Addressing the Future Bottom Billion,” the panel will feature Jessica Rosen from USAID’s Urban Program, Mario Flores, from Habitat For Humanity’s disaster response division, and Kirti Devi of TCG International. All three will speak about the importance of cross-sector programming and planning when addressing poverty in urban areas. For more information about the panel or the Forum, visit InterAction’s website here.

WHERE: InterAction Forum
Walter E. Washington Convention Center Room 151A
Washington D.C.
WHEN: Friday August 12, 2011 11:30am - 1:00pm

**Please note you must be registered for the Forum to attend the event**

Leadership Changes and the IHC

June 2011

The IHC has announced major leadership changes, effective July 1, 2011. At its May meeting, the board approved the appointment of Susan Corts Hill as the new President and CEO while electing Bob Dubinsky as IHC board chairman following his retirement as President and CEO in July. Dubinsky replaces Peter Kimm who retired as IHC board chairman in April.

Ms. Hill has extensive expertise in the field of housing and urban development, public policy analysis and development, advocacy, research and non-profit management. Prior to joining the IHC, Ms. Hill worked as the director of public policy for Habitat for Humanity International and a special assistant to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary’s Chief of Staff. Most recently she was in private practice with the law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge.

“I am grateful to be following such a competent and successful CEO and Board Chairman,” said Ms. Hill in a statement. “I am excited to be joining the IHC, and look forward to developing new and innovative ways increase visibility of urban poverty issues worldwide.”

How to Contact IHC Staff and board chairman

Peter Kimm, IHC Board Chairman Honored

May 2011

In April 2011 Peter Kimm decided to step down from the chairmanship of the International Housing Coalition (IHC). In his honor the IHC hosted a lunch for him on May 9, 2011 in Washington, D.C. Forty associates of Kimm and the IHC attended the event.

Since its inception Peter Kimm has been the board chairman of the IHC. Before becoming involved in the IHC, Kimm had a distinguished history of international service at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). For more than three decades he was USAID’s Director of Housing and Urban Programs and managed urban activities and programs in some 75 countries. In recognition of his work Kimm was awarded the United Nations Habitat Scroll of Honor in 1996 and the USAID Distinguished Career Service Award in 2002.

At the lunch a number of participants thanked Kimm, for his achievements for the IHC. Speakers included: Bob Dubinsky, IHC President and CEO; Chris Williams, Washington representative of UN HABITAT; Janet Branton, NAR Vice President for Global Business and Alliances; Billy Cobbett, Director of the Cities Alliance; Tom Jones from Habitat for Humanity International; Chuck Billand, President of TCG International; Al VanHuyck, former President of PADCO and Pierre Beauchamp of the Canadian Real Estate Association.

At the lunch Pat Combs, former NAR President and NAR’s representative on the IHC board, presented Kimm with a glass award from the IHC board of directors engraved with the following:

“In grateful appreciation for his friendship, vision, leadership and commitment to the IHC and its good works throughout the world”

Janet Branton delivered a resolution from the NAR Leadership Team to Kimm wishing him all the best for the future and thanking him for his dedication and efforts to improving housing conditions around the world.

Bob Dubinsky will succeed Kimm as board chairman and Susan Corts Hill will become the new President and CEO of the IHC effective July 1, 2011.

IHC Completes Work Under Its USAID Grant to To Provide Policy Assistance on Shelter Reconstruction in Haiti

May 2011

The IHC received a grant from USAID in July 2010 to provide advice on shelter issues in Haiti. Under the grant the IHC provided strategic and policy advice and assistance to the USAID mission in Haiti. The grant provided an opportunity for the IHC to play an important role in shaping USAID’s shelter reconstruction program. Improving the shelter situation in Haiti is an enormous challenge — 1.5 million people are displaced and homeless. It is estimated that 105,000 homes were destroyed and 200,000 damaged. Re-housing Haitians presents a wide range of issues and complex challenges. Housing policies have to take into account economic development opportunities and job creation, construction of basic infrastructure, urban planning concerns, land tenure and security issues, the potential of future natural disasters, and issues related to affordability and building standards etc.
The IHC work involved three tasks: 1) Completion of a Haiti Shelter Sector Assessment (HSSA); 2) providing policy advice on specific issues to USAID/Haiti; and 3) organizing expert panel meetings to review specific strategies and policy issues related to shelter reconstruction. Click here to view the Executive Summary of the HSSAClick here to view the full report.

IHC Organizes Round Table For UN HABITAT’s New Director, Joan Clos

April 2011

The IHC along with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and the Woodrow Wilson Center sponsored a conversation with the new director of UN HABITAT, Joan Clos on March 10, 2011 at the Washington offices of NAR. Dr. Clos laid out UN HABITAT’s agenda for the near term and answered questions from the more than 30 attendees at a discussion. Dr. Clos is a medical doctor and was Mayor of Barcelona from 1997-2006. He also served as Spain’s Minister of Industry, Tourism and Trade from 2006-2008. Ana Marie Argilagos, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for International and Philanthropic Affairs at HUD, introduced Dr. Clos and Blair Ruble from the Woodrow Wilson Center suggested a policy framework for the discussion with Dr. Clos.

IHC Supports A Graduate Student Urban Poverty Essay Competition

April 2011

In the fall of 2010 the IHC, in partnership with USAID, the World Bank, the Woodrow Wilson Center, and the Cities Alliance, initiated a competition for original research on topics related to reducing urban poverty. Three topic areas were specified: 1) land markets and security of tenure, 2) health and 3) livelihoods. The call for papers was distributed in 2010 and in March 2011, finalists were chosen from 70 submitted abstracts to write full papers. The best of these 16 papers will be published in a book, printed by the Woodrow Wilson Center. Winners will be invited to Washington in the fall to present their papers and participate in an interactive discussion with urban development policy experts. The Reaume Foundation funded IHC’s participation in the competition.

IHC CEO Participates in Harvard Kennedy School Haiti Panel

April 2011

Bob Dubinsky was a member of a panel at Harvard’s Kennedy School “Spring Exercise for Masters Candidates” on April 21, 2011, discussing shelter reconstruction in Haiti. Eric Belsky, Managing Director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University was the moderator. Other panelists were Claude Jeudy, manager of Habitat for Humanity International’s office in Haiti, and Chris Ward of USAID’s Urban Programs Team. In his remarks, Dubinsky identified important constraints to shelter reconstruction and some of the policy issues and tradeoffs that will have to be resolved.

IHC Publishes Report on the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act.

March 2011

One of the fundamental goals of the Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-129) was to make access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by the poor a specific policy objective of U.S. foreign assistance, enabling both USAID and the Department of State to be leaders in the field. This Act is of particular interest to the IHC because of the continued need of the urban poor and slum dwellers for improved water and sanitation services. The IHC conducted an analysis of the USG’s progress in meeting this goal between fiscal year 2008 and 2010. While there has been encouraging progress in the efforts of both State and USAID, there are also a number of areas where results have been mixed. This report provides both analysis and a list of concrete recommendations to improve the implementation of this important legislation. Click here to view the full paper orhere to view the executive summary. To attain a hard copy of the report, please email


Rockefeller Foundation Awards Grant to the IHC to Expand the IHC’s Educational Capabilities

On June 11, the Rockefeller Foundation awarded a grant to the IHC. This is the second grant the IHC has received from Rockefeller, which in recent years has taken a keen interest in the world urbanization phenomenon and the plight of the urban poor. The first grant funded the preparation and publication by the IHC of “The Challenge of an Urban World: an Opportunity for U.S. Foreign Assistance”. The new one-year grant will help the IHC to further develop its integrated education, information and outreach program. This will strengthen the ability of the IHC to inform and educate members of Congress, the Administration, policy makers, development practitioners, and leaders in developing countries about the importance of addressing housing and urban development issues, and of the impacts of forward-looking urban development strategies and programs.

IHC Receives USAID Grant For Haiti To Provide Strategic And Policy Shelter Assistance

The IHC has signed a grant agreement with USAID to provide shelter assistance to Haiti. Under the grant the IHC will provide strategic and policy advice and assistance to the USAID mission in Haiti. The grant provides the IHC with the opportunity to play an important role in shaping USAID’s shelter reconstruction program. Improving the shelter situation in Haiti is an enormous challenge — 1.5 million people are displaced and homeless. It is estimated that 105,000 homes were destroyed and 200,000 damaged. Re-housing Haitians presents a wide range of issues and complex challenges. Housing policies will have to take into account economic development opportunities and job creation, construction of basic infrastructure, urban planning concerns, land tenure and security issues, the potential of future natural disasters, and issues related to affordability and building standards etc.

IHC sponsored a Haiti Seminar at InterAction’s Annual Forum

The IHC and Habitat for Humanity International sponsored a discussion on Haiti reconstruction at InterAction’s Annual Forum held in Washington on June 24. The discussion focused on the policy and programmatic challenges and evolving options to resettle the large population displaced by the recent earthquake. The Haitian government, donor agencies, and non-government organizations are facing a multitude of complex issues in designing housing programs that can endure beyond the immediate relief stage. For example, while there is strong interest in encouraging settlement in secondary cities, the lack of ready employment opportunities in those locales is problematic. Comprehensive solutions that integrate housing with community and economic development are clearly needed.

Participating on the panel were Chris Vincent and Mario Flores from Habitat for Humanity International; Alexi Panahel, Acting USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator for EGAT; Frank Daphnis, CEO of the Development Innovations Group; and Bob Dubinsky, IHC CEO.

Steve Feldstein Speaks At InterAction

On April 13 the IHC organized a presentation at InterAction by Steve Feldstein who is on the Staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to discuss the status of foreign assistance legislation at Interaction. Feldstein commented on the foreign assistance-related legislation being considered by Congress and Congress’ attitude about funding for foreign assistance. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently introduced the Sustainable Urban Development Act of 2010 (S 3229). The House is at work this year to rewrite the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act, which dates to 1961 and is considered out of date as a relic of the Cold War, and unduly complicated because of the plethora of amendments added to it. The IHC is of the view that the drafting of new authorizing legislation is an opportunity to ensure that housing and urban development are properly recognized as legitimate and vital areas of focus as U.S. development agencies formulate their next generation of programs around the world.

World Urban Forum Held in Rio de Janeiro March 23-26, 2010

The Fifth World Urban Forum (WUF V) was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil March 22 – 26, 2010. The IHC sponsored two networking sessions and participated in a panel discussion at the U.S. Government booth. The panel discussion was on InterAction’s role in assisting its members and its policies for providing assistance to the urban poor.

The IHC-sponsored networking sessions were “Slum Upgrading Principles and Practices” moderated by Bob Dubinsky, IHC’s CEO and “Dysfunctional Property Markets” moderated by Nicole Weir, IHC’s policy assistant. The Panelists at the former session were Judith Hermanson, Senior Advisor to InterAction on Urban Affairs and former Vice President at the CHF International, Richard Martin, slum upgrading specialist with the World Bank in the Congo, Danielle Resnick, a PhD candidate in political science at Cornell University who has studied slum upgrading in Africa, and Duane Kissick, former AECOM Vice President and urban expert. The Panelists at the second session were Ron Phipps, 2010 President-Elect of the NAR, Sameh Wahba, Senior Urban Advisor at the World Bank, and Janice Perlman, President and CEO of the Mega-Cites Project.

Judith Hermanson Prepares Paper for the IHC

The IHC commissioned Judith Hermanson, Senior Policy Advisor to InterAction and former Vice President of CHF International, to prepare a report on slum improvement and present it at the World Urban Forum V which was held in Rio de Janerio in March, 2010.The paper, “Principles for Realizing the Potential of Urban Slums” discusses the potential development opportunities that could arise from programs to improve slums in the developing world. It discusses urban upgrading as a policy approach and identifies ingredients and lessons learned from effective urban programs. To view her paper click here.

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