Adequate housing forum will address challenges facing Latin American cities

Medellin, Colombia (April 10, 2014) — Is it possible to build a common vision of the challenges facing Latin American and Caribbean cities? Is it possible to agree on effective solutions to achieve a region where everyone has a decent place to live?

To these questions seeks to answer the second Latin American and the Caribbean Forum “Access to adequate shelter: building a foundation to break the poverty cycle”, to be held in Monterrey, Mexico, in May 6-9, 2015.

Habitat for Humanity and the forum co -organizers will facilitate a space to build shared solutions and help to give public policies and urban interventions a new direction for adequate housing. The ultimate goal is to achieve sustainable cities and break the cycle of poverty in the region.

The “Access to adequate shelter: building a foundation to break the poverty cycle” forum launch was held on April 8 as part of the World Urban Forum in Medellin, Colombia.

Journalist and CNN en Español presenter, Glenda Umana, led an interdisciplinary panel of experts that included:

  • Jonathan Reckford, Habitat for Humanity International CEO.
  • Torre Nelson, Habitat for Humanity Vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Erik Vittrup, Mexico’s representative for the Latin America and the Caribbean regional office, UN-Habitat
  • Graham Saunders, Housing and Human Shelter Director, International Red Cross.
  • Lorena Zarate, President, Habitat International Coalition (HIC).
  • Roberto Ruiz Cortez, Mayor, San Pedro Garza Garcia municipality, Monterrey.

Panelists agreed that opportunities for development should be created and all actors need to be included to generate prosperity and inclusiveness in cities. And in this process, adequate housing is a key vehicle for building equitable cities.

“The need for adequate housing has never been more urgent: more than 1.6 billion people worldwide lack a safe and affordable place to live. This regional forum is a vehicle to partner with others to influence the housing sector and market, and serve as a leading voice to inspire and mobilize others to take action to end poverty housing”, said Reckford.

The first Latin American and Caribbean forum on adequate housing was held in Colombia in 2012, with the participation of 250 people from 15 countries and 65 organizations. 

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that safe and affordable housing provides a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty, Habitat has helped more than 4 million people (750,000 in Latin America and the Caribbean) construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes since 1976. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and supports a variety of funding models that enable families with limited resources to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. To learn more, donate or volunteer, visit