The Hunter-based head of Australia’s largest community housing provider will join an international committee as part of preparations for the landmark UN Habitat (UNH) Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development.
Compass Housing Service’s Group Managing Director, Greg Budworth, will participate in the Habitat III Preparatory Committee, which is being held in Nairobi from 14 ‚Äì 16 April this year.
Greg said he will be working with international partners on an agenda aimed at securing a global commitment to sustainable urban development and affordable housing. Last December he was named Chairman of the International Housing Partnership’s (IHP) External Relationships Committee. The committee is made up ten IHP members from Australia, UK, USA and Canada. A key objective of the committee was to be involved in the forthcoming UNH Agenda.
“We are looking forward to helping shape an agenda for this key global summit,” Greg said.
“The last UN Habitat Conference was held twenty years ago, so this agenda will help frame the next two decades of global action on sustainable urban development.”
He said Compass would be working with experts from the government, academic and not for profit sectors who are focused on sustainable urban development and poverty.
“Although this is a global housing and sustainability challenge, we want to make sure there is a focus on housing and urban development issues in our own Pacific region.”
“Given our own challenges in meeting the need for sustainable and affordable housing, having an Australian contribution to the conference is crucial.”
Around 6,000 people are waiting for social housing in the Hunter. Greg said thousands more Hunter people are experiencing housing stress, including many working people.
He and Compass have called for radical new approaches to break the crisis in housing including providing community housing organisations with title to housing stock or access to rental income to leverage the construction of more housing as well as incentives and partnerships with the private sector to build more affordable housing.
The UN Habitat Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development will be held in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016. More information about the Habitat III Preparatory Committee can be found here.