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Industry Leaders from Around the World Converge for the 2nd Asia-Pacific Housing Forum.

Manila, Aug 26, 2009 - (ACN Newswire) - The world's prime movers from the housing, construction and related industries will converge on September 7 to 9, 2009 for the premier regional industry conference - the 2nd Asia-Pacific Housing Forum. This year's forum, co-organized by Habitat for Humanity International in partnership with principal sponsor, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, is centered on the theme "Maximizing Urban Poverty Housing Solutions for Greater Results."

In line with this year'stheme, one of the aims of the Asia-Pacific Housing Forum is to highlight the private sector's role in addressing urban poverty housing concerns in the region. "As the private sector is often cited as the vehicle for growth and development for countries and communities, vast opportunities are available for its involvement in housing-related fields, such as urban planning, slum redevelopment, and housing microfinance, hence contributing to more meaningful solutions for urban poverty housing," saidRick Hathaway, Asia-Pacific Vice President of Habitat for Humanity International.

Interesting convergences will take place during the three-day seminar among the local and international delegates who will come from different global organizations.These include a plenary session on "Addressing the Problem of Urban Slums," which will tackle issues and multi-stakeholder solutions in redevelopment programs of depressed communities.

Among the featured topics for this plenary session is "Making Cities Slum-free: The Role of the Private Sector in Addressing Urban Poverty Housing" by Mukesh Mehta. Mehta will share his experiences and challenges in the redevelopment of Dharavi, one of Asia's largest and most notorious slums located in Mumbai, India. He will also discuss his strategy for "Slum-Free Cities," where he explains in detail how urban areas in the developing world can be made slum-free in a sustainable manner with little or no investment from the government.

Arch. Felino "Jun" Palafox, Chairman of Palafox & Associates, Philippines will discuss his company's experiences in dealing with slum rehabilitation initiatives in his presentation on "Urban Planning and Slum Redevelopment." David A. Smith, founder of Affordable Housing Institute, USA, will also impart related responses to the issue through his presentation on "Slum Redevelopment as Urban Poverty Housing Solution."

In the session on Innovative Housing Finance, participants can learn about effective housingmicrofinance models that are being used around the world, and how they can be applied in different urban poor housing projects, including the construction and expansion of homes and land acquisition. Related businesses and social entrepreneurs are presented with opportunities to network with potential sources of housing finance.

Featured talks under this session are: "Housing Microfinance and the Housing Needs of the Urban Poor" by Tor G. Gull, Managing Director, Oikocredit, The Netherlands;"The Role of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in Supporting Housing Microfinance in the Banking Sector" by Deputy Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr., Supervision and Examination Sector, BSP, Philippines; and "FMO Initiatives in Housing Finance for the Poor" by Mr. Huub Cornelissen, Director on Energy & Housing, Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO), The Netherlands.

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.

The 2nd Asia-Pacific Housing Forum alsoserves as a venue to establish synergy among major stakeholders from the social, private and public sectors, academe and international organizations by sharing best practices, solutions and resource needs for the growing number of people living in substandard housing environments.

The event will be held at the Dusit Thani Manila Hotel in Makati. Sponsors include Citi, AyalaLand, Vestergaard Frandsen and DHL Global Forwarding. Event partners are the Philippines Department of Tourism, and thePhilippine City of Taguig. Other supporters are Acer, BusinessWorld, Epson, ACN Newswire, Asia Management Systems and IndianNGOs.com.

Housing developers, microfinance institutions, and other related businesses 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 HumanityPhilippines

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 paymentsgo 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 prideof 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.

About Habitat for Humanity International

Habitat for Humanity International is a global non-governmental organization that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in the USA in 1976, Habitat has built more than 300,000 houses in dozens of countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.5 million people with homes they helped build and which they have paid for with affordable, non-profit loans. For more information, please visit www.habitat.org/ap

Source: Habitat for Humanity International

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

Peter Witton
Email: PWitton@habitat.org
Mobile: +66 86105 1767

Rosary Ysmael - Palanca
Telefax. No.: +632 899 2435
Mobile: +6391772410

Franco Penaranda/ Marilen Penaranda
Mobile: +63917 787 9740 / +63918 921 7036
Tel/fax. No.: +632 899 2435

Vic Albornoz Lactaoen
Tel/fax. No.: +632 899 2435
Mobile: +63919 529 6518


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Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Aug 26, 2009
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