IHC Newsletter
In This Issue
IHC MEMBERSHIP GROWS
IHC ADVOCACY PROGRAM
USAID'S OPERATIONAL PLAN GUIDANCE FOR 2007
CONFERENCE ON HOUSING IN AFRICA
WORLD URBAN FORUM IV
ASIA-PACIFIC HOUSING FORUM
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Volume 1, Issue 2 June 2007
IHC Membership Grows
Twenty-seven Organizations Are Now Members
Twenty-seven organizations are now members of the IHC, and several additional applications for membership are pending approval by the IHC Board of Directors. If you are interested in becoming a member of the IHC, the membership statement and application may be downloaded by clicking on the "Become a Member" quicklink to the left or may be accessed on the IHC's website at www.intlhc.org  Benefits of membership include: supporting the IHC in its efforts to raise the priority, level of investment, and attention given to the provision of low income housing by bilateral and multilateral donor organizations and by governments in developing countries; participating in the IHC's public policy committee; receiving the IHC newsletter; receiving research that the IHC develops; and receiving information about meetings and conferences organized by the IHC, and sharing information and best practices on housing and slum upgrading issues.  The membership for 2007 is $50.
 
IHC's current members are: Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), National Association of REALTORS (NAR), Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), Annie E. Casey Foundation, National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), Westat, Housing International LLC, Affordable Housing Institute, Integrated Holistic Approach Urban Development Project (IHA-UDP), The Communities Group International (TCGI), PADCO, International Consortium of Real Estate Associations (ICREA), International Union for Housing Finance, Homes for the Heart, Ashoka, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), National Alliance to End Homelessness, Rural Development Institute (RDI), One Economy, ShoreBank International Ltd., ARD, International Housing Solutions, National Housing Conference, National Association of Home Builders, Global Urban Development, AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, and National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP).
IHC Advocacy Program
2007 Legislative Priorities

The IHC continues to aggressively advocate in Congress for its four 2007 legislative priorities. An update on the issues as of July 2, 2007 follows:

  • Authorize and Fund the Africa Housing and Infrastructure Facility (AHIF): The AHIF did not get approved by the House or Senate Appropriations Committees. 
  • Support Water for the Poor Programs: The House and Senate Appropriations Committees approved $300 million for water programs.
  • Increased Funding for OPIC's Administrative Budget: The House and Senate Appropriations Committees increased the funding for OPIC's administrative budget.
  • Funding For UN HABITAT: The House and Senate Appropriations Committees approved $900,000 for UN-HABITAT.

The IHC Policy Committee meets on a monthly basis.   All IHC members are invited to Policy Committee meetings.  Please email Bob Dubinsky at Dubinsky@intlhc.org with your questions or suggestions.

USAID's Operational Plan Guidance for 2007
IHC Advocates for Housing

The IHC undertook a detailed analysis of USAID's Operational Plan Guidance and recommended modifications to USAID and the State Department's F Bureau.  The IHC concluded that mention of housing and housing-related topics was incidental at best, and the Guidance failed to recognize that housing development and upgrading have important linkages with many different Program Elements and Sub Elements in the Guidance. Based on this analysis, the IHC decided to propose to USAID that a new Program Element, HOUSING, be added to the Guidance and to undertake an advocacy effort on behalf of housing.

 

On March 7 in a letter to Ambassador Tobias the IHC expressed its concern about the Guidance. In a letter dated April 19 Ambassador Tobias responded and argued that the Guidance allowed missions to invest in housing. The IHC does not believe this to be the case.  On May 9 the IHC met with Jacqueline Schafer, Assistant Administrator for Economic Growth and Trade (EGAT), to discuss the matter and present the IHC's analysis to her.  Overall the discussion was positive and useful.  The IHC formally submitted its analysis and proposal to the F Bureau on June 1, and plans to meet with F Bureau staff to discuss how housing can be given more recognition.

 

If you would like to receive a copy of the IHC's analysis and proposal, email Dubinsky@intlhc.org
Africa Housing Study and Seminar
Housing Study Completed
In November 2006, the IHC received a grant of $20,000 from the Leonard P. Reaume Foundation to provide partial funding for a project to study housing policy problems in selected countries in Africa and to organize a policy seminar to consider recommendations about what specific steps the US government could take to help address Africa's and the developing world's housing needs.   

The IHC has completed a background study on housing problems and issues in Africa that will be used as the basis for discussion in a high-level policy seminar that will be held in July on Capitol Hill.  The study, conducted in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, surveys the current status of housing, including policies and approaches, the extent of current US government housing and housing-related activities and impediments to access to affordable housing.  The study presents policy and program options for increasing the role, scale, and impact of US government assistance to provide increased access to affordable housing in Africa and elsewhere. A policy seminar will be held in Washington in July 2007.
World Urban Forum IV
China, October 2008
The World Urban Forum IV (WUF IV), sponsored by UN-HABITAT, will be held in Nanjing, China, October 13-17, 2008.  Jack Howley, Advisor to the IHC, attended the UN-HABITAT Governing Council meeting in Nairobi in April.  He reports that a Secretariat is being formed by UN-HABITAT with Mariam Yunusa as the Coordinator.  UN-HABITAT will be putting information on WUF IV on the internet soon.

 

The IHC will participate in WUF IV, and is interested in partnering with like-minded organizations to organize a limited number of workshops on housing topics.  Interested organizations should contact Robert Dubinsky at Dubinsky@intlhc.org

 

The IHC played a significant role in WUF III, sponsoring 12 networking sessions and 11 scholarly papers.  The WUF III papers may be accessed on the IHC website at www.intlhc.org 

Asia-Pacific Housing Forum
Singapore, September 2007
Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), HUD and the Singapore Institute of Planners are co-sponsoring the first Asia-Pacific Housing Forum in Singapore, September 24-26, 2007.  HUD plans to host and co-sponsor a Ministerial level housing summit on the first day of the conference.  The Forum will bring together social practitioners, housing professionals, housing finance organizations and key actors to discuss how the private sector can help the region meet the housing targets of the UN Millennium Development Goals.  The three-day Forum will focus on sharing knowledge and the dissemination of housing solutions and best practices.  The themes and tracks are: (a) housing as an economic development priority, (b) housing policy, (c) alternative housing solutions, and (d) housing finance and the poor. 
 

The Forum will be of interest to all who are concerned and engaged in housing delivery and policy matters.  Registration fees are $570 per delegate.  For more information, email aphf@mpinetwork.com or contact Jane Katz jkatz@habitat.org