"On this World Habitat Day, I urge national and local governments, city planners and communities everywhere to keep “Housing at the Centre”. Guaranteeing dignity and opportunity for all depends on people having access to affordable and adequate housing. I look forward to a successful Habitat III Conference that will help us advance our sustainable development agenda for the benefit of all humankind."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
2016 Theme: Housing at the Centre
In Resolution 40/202 of 17 December 1985, the UN General Assembly designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day.
The 2016 World Habitat Day campaign aims to raise awareness about the need for affordable housing for all in urban areas, towns and cities.
Access to adequate housing is a global challenge growing fast with urbanization. Around one quarter of the world’s urban population continues to live in slums and informal settlements.
An increasing number of urban dwellers, especially the poor and vulnerable groups (women, migrants, persons with disabilities and HIV, elder, youth and LGBT) are living in precarious conditions, addressing their housing needs informally, lacking access to basic services and living space, isolated from livelihood opportunities and vulnerable to forced evictions or homelessness.
Every day, as people are born in or move to urban centres in search of opportunities, the demand for housing grows. Globally, a billion new houses are needed by 2025 to accommodate 50 million new urban dwellers per year.
Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development will take place in Quito, Ecuador, from 17 – 20 October 2016.