The need for effective, affordable housing policy to ensure access to decent, adequate, affordable and healthy housing for all, as demanded by the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, Geneva UN Charter for Sustainable Housing (2015) and Urban Agenda for the EU Housing Partnership, has been amplified by COVID-19. These policy goals and guidance, in the context of the pandemic, highlight not only our global connections but also the vital importance of urban and housing policy in promoting decent housing and liveable cities. The pandemic has impacted differently of people’s lives and well-being and shown that not everyone has access to a safe, secure and affordable home or is able to live, work, learn and play in a well-resourced neighbourhood. For this reason housing and urban policy will remain firmly on all governments’ agenda throughout and beyond the next decade.

#Housing2030 shows how policy makers can improve affordable housing outcomes and at the same time play a constructive role in addressing ongoing climate change and stimulate the social and economic recovery now demanded by the pandemic.

#Housing2030 also provides a ‘tool kit’ rather than a universal ‘blueprint’, to respond to the different and changing demands of member states and regions.

In an accessible and helpful format #Housing2030 makes clear what affordable housing entails: strategic land policy, purposeful investment and good governance. This practical report defines key concepts and policy tools drawn from the experience of over 50 countries. The report zeroes in on four key areas: land policy and planning strategies, funding and financing instruments, and good governance and regulation as well as environmental and energy standards for a more sustainable future. Clear illustrations show how these policies have been implemented, pointing out what makes them best practice and providing useful links to a wealth of contacts and resources.

Evidence for the need of affordable and secure housing in liveable and sustainable environments has motivated collaboration between key international organisations at the highest level. #Housing2030 builds on the findings of previous and ongoing land mark studies, such as the UNECE Country Profiles and Good Practice Guides, their joint reports with UN Habitat on Sustainable Housing and Urban Development and SDG 11 and the growing attention of the OECD for affordable housing. The recent Housing Partnership and State of Housing Report by Housing Europe. It also supports the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, the New Urban Agenda and the Geneva Charter of Sustainable Housing.

#Housing2030 is a joint international initiative of housing experts from over 56 governments through UNECE and UN Habitat and 43,000 affordable housing providers and neighbourhood developers represented by Housing Europe. It aims to improve the capacity of national and local governments to formulate policies that improve housing affordability and sustainability.

The partners in this project include the UNECE Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management, established in 1947, is the only intergovernmental body addressing the housing and urban development challenges of countries in Europe, North America and Asia. Also involved is the UN Human Settlements Programme (Habitat). Established in 1978, it focuses on sustainable urban development and has led the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Housing Europe is a network of 45 national and regional federations of public, social and cooperative housing providers operating in 24 countries and managing around 25 million homes. By combining their vision and expertise, this extraordinary international collaboration aims to build global commitment and capacity to policies ensuring affordable and sustainable housing for all.

#Housing2030 has been jointly led by Elena Szolgayova, Director General of Ministry of Transport and Construction, Slovak Republic and David Orr former president of Housing Europe. It has been managed by a committee comprising Gulnara Roll, Secretary to Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management at UN Economic Commission for Europe , Sorcha Edwards, Secretary General to Housing Europe and Amie Figueiredo, Programme Management Officer at UN-Habitat. The work of this committee has been ably supported by Dara Turnbull, Research Coordinator, Housing Europe and Agata Krause, Consultant to UNECE, who have been particularly active in organising workshops and questionnaires with their members.

Drafting the report has been undertaken by Dr Julie Lawson, Honorary Associate Professor, Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University in co-operation with a team of authors including Professor Holger Wallbaum, Professor of sustainable building at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg (Sweden), Michelle Norris (University College Dublin; Irish Housing Finance Agency), Kat Grimsley (George Mason School of Business) andSergio Nasarre-Aznar (UNESCO Housing Chair at the University Rovira i Virgili).

Partners would like to express their gratitude to the Housing Agency of Ireland, the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA), the Slovenian Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning and the Czech Ministry of Regional Development for their support to the #Housing2030 Initiative and the preparation of this publication.

The final report was presented at the UNECE Ministerial meeting in Geneva (October 2021).