20-28 November 2019, Korea — In a workshop organised by UN-Habitat, nearly 30 participants including mayor, deputy mayors and senior officials from Asian national bodies and cities worked extremely hard during 9 days of training and seminars to find the best strategy for improving the affordability of housing in their cities and countries. According to the assessment of the participants at the end of the course, the training has met its objectives and their expectations in developing practical knowledge and understanding of the functioning and structure of the housing sector. Participants also acquired innovative skills and know-how that will enable them to design transformational policies, programmes and strategies that influence housing markets and promote the supply of affordable housing options for different segments of the population.
At the end of the course, the participants presented 10 strategies for affordable housing programmes for their cities/countries. These strategies reflected the lively discussions during the training sessions regarding persistent challenging in solving informal settlement areas, regulations of housing market, different approaches in addressing the housing needs of the lower-income groups, and the innovative ways for mobilizing resources for housing policies and programmes.
A participant from Bhutan’s Ministry of Works and Human Settlements presented the in-progress national housing policy for Bhutan. She said that the knowledge and experience that she learned in this course helps her to adjust the policy appropriately. A Vietnamese participant from Hanoi, Vietnam said that the course has happened at the perfect timing as they are about to start a new project looking into improving the housing policy of Hanoi capital. The training has given him a comprehensive structure and understanding of the housing sectors and what elements are having major influence on it.
On the last of the training course, all participants had an exchange seminar with the Architecture student of Kangwon National University about the housing challenges in their countries and the possible solutions. The 3-hour seminar proved to be an interesting avenue for sharing creative ideas from both Korea housing institutions, NGOs, private sector and academia and from the Asian international community.