"We reaffirm our commitment
to the full and progressive realization of the right to
adequate housing as provided for in international instruments.
To that end, we shall seek the active participation of our
public, private and non-governmental partners at all levels
to ensure legal security of tenure, protection from discrimination
and equal access to affordable, adequate housing for all
persons and their families."
from Istanbul Declaration on
Human Settlements, 1996.
"Current rates of population growth and urban-rural
migration, particularly in developing countries, have serious
impacts on living conditions in human settlements. By the
beginning of the third millennium, it is estimated that
1.1 billion people live in inadequate housing conditions
in urban areas alone. In many cities of developing countries,
more than half of the population live in informal settlements,
without security of tenure and in conditions that can be
described as life and health threatening. Among an estimated
100 million homeless people around the world, available
data suggest that increasing proportions are women and children."
from United Nations Housing
"With a low national vacancy
rate, the country’s largest urban centers are losing
affordable rental units at an alarming rate. Canada Mortgage
and Housing Corporation’s annual rental market survey
shows rents also increasing, creating less available and
affordable low-cost rental housing in larger urban areas.
The situation particularly affects the working poor and
low-to-middle income earners. Every day, hundreds more families
face eviction and homelessness."
from Final Report, Prime Minister’s
Caucus Task Force on Urban Issues, Ottawa, Canada, 2002
As indicated by the quotations from
the United Nations Housing Rights Program and the Final
Report of the Canadian Prime Minister’s Caucus Task
Force Report on Urban Issues, concerns about the availability
of adequate and affordable housing span the globe. It is
now seven years since the Istanbul Declaration on Human
Settlements concerning the right to adequate housing and
it is appropriate to evaluate the progress that has been
made in securing "legal security of tenure, protection
from discrimination, and equal access to affordable and
adequate housing for all persons and their families."
Under the broad theme of "adequate
and affordable housing for all," the Research Committee
on Housing and the Built Environment invites researchers,
policy makers, and practitioners to meet in Toronto to share
and discuss their recent research and experience.
The list of themes is designed to be inclusive.
Housing research and policy analysis draws on many disciplines.
Housing practitioners have diverse educational backgrounds
and experience. To make progress on adequately housing all
people requires a knowledge of the macro context in which
housing is located as well as the ability to make specific
contributions at the community, group and individual household
The conference themes include:
Demographic, political, economic, and
social trends affecting housing outcomes and housing policy
at the local, national, and international levels
Comparative and historical analysis of
housing systems and policies in developed and developing
nations and economies in transition
Poverty, homelessness, social welfare,
the human right to housing, the Habitat agenda, NGOs &
Residential mobility, discrimination,
segregation, social exclusion and spatial polarization
Social housing policy, programs, and
Neighbourhood revitalization, community
development initiatives, residential land issues
Household and lifestyle trends, the search
for "home" and "community," housing
Housing design, sustainable housing
Housing markets, private-sector investment,
tax policies, partnerships, international investment, multi-lateral
institutions, globalization, neo-liberalism
Theoretical and conceptual framing of
housing issues and debates; methodological issues; progress
in housing research