Stars of urban development to tackle poverty housing at regional Hong Kong forum

Manila, 29 July 2015 – A distinguished who’s who from the fields of urban development and housing will gather from around the globe to meet in Hong Kong from 1 to 4 September 2015. There they will speak to delegates, activists and policy makers, aiming to tackle the issue of poverty housing in the region at the 5th Asia-Pacific Housing Forum.

Prestigious names that will be speaking at the event this year include:

  • Daniel Lam – Managing Director, Hong Kong Urban Renewal Authority
  • Mark Devadason – Head of Sustainability, Standard Chartered
  • Juan Du – Associate Dean (International and Mainland China Affairs), Faculty of Architecture, University of Hong Kong
  • Jonathan Woetzel – Director, McKinsey Global Institute
  • Renee Glover – former CEO, Atlanta Housing Authority; Chair, Habitat for Humanity International Board of Directors
  • John Fitzgerald, Chief Executive, Asia-Pacific, Urban Land Institute
  • Matthias Helble, Research Fellow, Asian Development Bank Institute
  • Rajesh Krishnan, Founder and CEO, Brick Eagle
  • Jonathan Reckford, CEO, Habitat for Humanity

“This is a rare gathering of wisdom and experience from across the world. This forum will be a fantastic opportunity for policy makers and activists that are searching for solutions to end poverty housing in their home countries,” said Rick Hathaway, Asia-Pacific vice president, Habitat for Humanity.

The Asia-Pacific Housing Forum is the region’s leading event for advocating for affordable housing solutions and decent shelter for low-income families. The event takes place every two years, gathering together major actors engaged in developing and delivering sustainable solutions for poverty housing issues.

In 2015 the event is expanding to take place simultaneously in three locations in the Asia-Pacific region. The forum is launching satellite events to be held in two large urban centers – Delhi, India; and Manila, in the Philippines, alongside the main event in Hong Kong.

Under the theme ‘Building Impact’, the forum expects to engage over 2,000 leaders and experts in the field of affordable housing, ranging from policy-makers, entrepreneurs, private sector businesses, academics and civil society players.

“The three events will lift the forum to a whole new level by uniting a record number of participants to discuss local and regional poverty housing topics. The Housing Forum aims to highlight innovative solutions, drive systemic policy change and market shifts, and strengthen partnerships – in order to offer affordable housing solutions at scale for low-income populations, and in a way that makes business and economic sense,” continued Hathaway.

“The Asia-Pacific Housing Forum is timely, coming ahead of the Asia-Pacific Urban Forum, and Habitat III. Taking place in Ecuador next year, Habitat III is the bi-decennial United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. Habitat for Humanity has been elected to represent civil society in events leading up to and at Habitat III, and will use the Asia-Pacific Housing Forum as a way of gathering input from the region,” said Hathaway.

For a list of speakers, further information and registration details for the Asia-Pacific Housing Forum: .

Another highlight of the Housing Forum is the Wharton-Habitat for Humanity housing finance course, a special collaboration between Habitat for Humanity and the prestigious Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The course to be conducted in Hong Kong on 1-2 September focuses on various aspects of housing finance for low-income families in the Asia-Pacific region – regulation, financing and delivering mortgage finance; non-mortgage housing finance models and pricing models.

The main event in Hong Kong will feature four different tracks: Building leadership - profiling organizations and individuals at the forefront of the fight against substandard housing; Impacting communities - examining the key elements of sustainable housing solutions; Building markets - exploring markets that low-income families use to meet their shelter needs, and Impacting society - bringing advocates and volunteers together to present insights on changing housing policy and sharing ideas to raise awareness of housing as a way out of poverty.