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Tuesday, 1 September 2009, 14:09 HKT/SGT

Source: Habitat for Humanity International
2nd Asia-Pacific Housing Forum Highlights Latest Industry Trends and Models in Low-cost Urban Housing

MANILA, Sept 1, 2009 - (ACN Newswire) - The latest housing industry practices in addressing the shelter concerns of the urban poor will be discussed by internationally acclaimed speakers and leading experts at the 2nd Asia-Pacific Housing Forum on September 7 to 9, 2009 at the Dusit Thani Manila Hotel in Makati City.

Co-organized by Habitat for Humanity International with Principal Sponsor the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the second edition of this premier regional conference is centered on the theme "Maximizing Urban Poverty Housing Solutions for Greater Results."

The three-day forum will discuss the best practices, solutions and resource needs for the growing number of people living in substandard housing environments. Among the speakers who will delve on this concept is Jaime A. Cura, National President of the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders' Associations (CREBA), Philippines, through his presentation on "The Challenge and Opportunity for Large Developers in Meeting the Housing Needs of the Poor."

Other speakers will focus on both indigenous and modern technologies and how these can help address urban poverty housing. Among them are "Using Traditional Architecture Technology for Poverty Housing Solutions" by Nouha Mustafa, architect and historical site management consultant of the Directorate of Urban Planning, Ministry of Local Administration and Environment, Syrian Arab Republic. Mustafa will talk about the lessons learned from traditional architecture such as bioclimatic architecture applications, which can be implemented as a poverty housing solution.

George Modrovic of ELFI Wall System will discuss how the ELFI technology for walls and roofs can reduce construction time up to 65%, while yielding energy usage reductions between 40 and 60% -- all with recyclable materials and green technology that is rapidly replacing traditional wood, cement, and CMU block construction.

Meanwhile, Daniel Mostrales of Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology will talk about reinforced masonry for medium-rise buildings, while Alberto Jugo, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Philippines will speak on how high-end technology can work for the poor.

Related issues with the housing needs of the poor will likewise be addressed during the Thought Leaders Round Table that will establish the pace of the entire conference. The panel will be composed of: Banashree Banerjee, Urban Management Consultant from India; Nicolas P. Retsinas, Director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University; David A. Smith, Founder, Affordable Housing Institute; Yap Kioe Sheng, Chief (retired), Poverty Reduction Section, UNESCAP, Thailand; Vishnu Swaminathan, Director, Housing for All, Ashoka - Innovators for the Public, Ahmedabad, India; and the Philippines' Bebet Gozun, Chairperson of Earth Day Network-Philippines and former Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri will formally open the conference on the first day as Keynote Speaker, while Philippine Vice President Noli de Castro, who is also the Chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), will officially close the event as Guest of Honor on the final day of the conference.

Sponsors include Citi, AyalaLand, Vestergaard Frandsen and DHL Global Forwarding. Event partners are the Philippines Department of Tourism, and the Philippine City of Taguig. Other supporters include Acer, BusinessWorld, Epson, ACN Newswire, Asia Management Systems and IndianNGOs.com.

Housing developers, microfinance institutions, local governments and academics are encouraged to attend the 2nd Asia-Pacific Housing forum. For more information and online registration, please log on to http://www.aphousingforum.org or contact the Secretariat at 2APHFSecretariat@habitat.org.ph or at +632 897-3356/ 897-3069 loc. 107.

About Habitat for Humanity Philippines

Habitat for Humanity Philippines, is a non-profit Christian Ministry that helps build responsible and self-reliant communities by enabling Filipino families in need to acquire affordable, decent and durable homes. It also partners with organizations, institutions and individuals in transforming lives and promoting people's dignity through building homes and conducting community development programs.

Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat for Humanity builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of homeowner families. Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit, finances with affordable, inflation-adjusted mortgage loans. The homeowners' monthly mortgage payments go into a local revolving fund and are used to build more Habitat houses.

In addition to monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest their own labor - "sweat equity" - into building their Habitat house and the houses of others, increasing the pride of ownership and fostering the development of positive relationships within a community.

To date, Habitat for Humanity Philippines has helped rebuild the lives of over 24,000 families and built over 200 school classrooms nationwide.

Mika Palileo
Tel: +632 897 3069 loc. 107
Mobile: +63917881 5473

Michele Soh
Mobile: +65 9233 1544
Email: msoh@habitat.org

Topic: Press release summary
Source: Habitat for Humanity International

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