Housing at the Center of APHF: DSC Panel Picks

Published: Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 by Lenora

APHF6: Housing at the Center

As a proud media partner for the 6th Asia-Pacific Housing Forum in Hong Kong on September 4-7, 2017, Developing Smart Cities is looking forward to this sixth conference by Habitat for Humanity International. With the theme of Housing at the Center, an echo of Habitat III, the program focuses on practical and scalable solutions for secure, dignified and sustainable shelter.

Since its inception in 2007, the Housing Forum has brought together more than 3,400 participants from over 52 countries. Habitat typically excels at bringing together policy, community and design. In recent years, the organization has also begun to introduce more innovative content into these programs. For those into finance, technology, materials and social enterprise models, as well as the role of investors, Developing Smart Cities’ picks for panels are listed below.

Plenary 1: Can technology solve the housing crisis in Asia-Pacific?

  • Panel: Bringing design into the construction of sustainable communities
  • Panel: Housing finance from a microfinance perspective

Plenary 2: Developing partnerships – sharing risks and rewards

Plenary 4: Housing as a catalyst for economic growth: a value chain approach

  • Panel: Tried and tested innovations for affordable housing in Asia-Pacific
  • Panel: Can impact investment bring development and profit?
  • Panel: What’s new? Impact of latest technology on affordable housing

Starting with finance, Habitat’s MicroBuild Fund has given the organization a leadership role in housing microfinance. Speakers at the session on housing finance will be sharing experiences on a range of lending products for land, incremental building and new homes.

Beyond microfinance, we are excited to hear about Covestro‘s experience with materials innovation in low cost, energy efficient houses. Homebuyers in developing markets tend to be more interested in traditional materials than new materials, a worthy topic for discussion in that segment.

Social enterprises meeting the needs of underserved populations point to new directions in delivering housing. Better Shelter provides temporary homes for displaced populations. Certified B Corp Chototel is aiming at “super-budget hotel rooms” to serve poor families – and others – near industrial zones outside Mumbai with not just housing but services and support. Base Builds will share its rural housing product constructed with strong, local, fast-growing bamboo.

Impact investors often say that there are no interesting deals in international housing, so no doubt the two panelists focused on impact investing can speak to what sort of deals exist for impact investors interested in housing. These panelists from the Affordable Housing Institute, which has deployed capital into a housing finance enterprise in India, and from Social Ventures Hong Kong should also be able to opine on why there are so few such opportunities.

Finally, two more mainstream players in real estate development and investment will bring their perspectives on partnerships and the real estate value chain. Large-scale community developer Mahindra Lifespaces (with rare female real estate developer CEO speaking) has pioneered the concept of integrated city scale developments and green housing. Also among speakers is the India operation of legendary private equity investor KKR, which has made project level investments in affordable housing in India.

There are too many fascinating speakers to enumerate them all here. This is going to be an excellent occasion for organizations to re-think affordable housing markets and more effective delivery to low-income households in the Asia Pacific region. And this is something that both our platforms have in common, the desire to foster and empower housing professionals, enterprises and investors.

As an online knowledge and networking platform dedicated to promoting affordable housing solutions and urban regeneration in developing markets, we are glad to be one of the media partners of the 6th Asia-Pacific Housing Forum.

To register or for further information, please go to www.aphousingforum.org