Section IV B. Adequate shelter for all
3. Shelter delivery systems

(a) Enabling markets to work

71. In many countries, markets serve as the primary housing delivery mechanism, hence their effectiveness and efficiency are important to the goal of sustainable development. It is the responsibility of Governments to create an enabling framework for a well-functioning housing market. The housing sector should be viewed as an integrating market in which trends in one segment affect performance in other segments. Government interventions are required to address the needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups that are insufficiently served by markets.


72. To ensure market efficiency, Governments at the appropriate levels and consistent with their legal authority should:

(b) Facilitating community-based production of housing

73. In many countries, particularly developing countries, more than half the existing housing stock has been built by the owner-occupiers themselves, serving mainly the lower-income population. Self-built housing will continue to play a major role in the provision of housing into the distant future. Many countries are supporting self-built housing by regularizing and upgrading programmes.


74. To support the efforts of people, individually or collectively, to produce shelter, Governments at the appropriate levels should, where appropriate:

(c) Ensuring access to land

75. Access to land and legal security of tenure are strategic prerequisites for the provision of adequate shelter for all and for the development of sustainable human settlements affecting both urban and rural areas. It is also one way of breaking the vicious circle of poverty. Every Government must show a commitment to promoting the provision of an adequate supply of land in the context of sustainable land-use policies. While recognizing the existence of different national laws and/or systems of land tenure, Governments at the appropriate levels, including local authorities, should nevertheless strive to remove all possible obstacles that may hamper equitable access to land and ensure that equal rights of women and men related to land and property are protected under the law. The failure to adopt, at all levels, appropriate rural and urban land policies and land management practices remains a primary cause of inequity and poverty. It is also the cause of increased living costs, the occupation of hazard-prone land, environmental degradation and the increased vulnerability of urban and rural habitats, affecting all people, especially disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, people living in poverty and low-income people.


76. To ensure an adequate supply of serviceable land, Governments at the appropriate levels and in accordance with their legal framework should:

77. To promote efficient land markets and the environmentally sustainable use of land, Governments at the appropriate levels should: 78. To eradicate legal and social barriers to the equal and equitable access to land, especially the access of women, people with disabilities and those belonging to vulnerable groups, Governments at the appropriate levels, in partnership with the private sector, non-governmental organizations, the cooperative sector and community-based organizations, should: 79. To facilitate access to land and security of tenure for all socio-economic groups, Governments at the appropriate levels, including local authorities, should: (d) Mobilizing sources of finance

80. Housing finance institutions serve the conventional market but do not always respond adequately to the different needs of large segments of the population, particularly those belonging to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, people living in poverty and low-income people. In order to mobilize more domestic and international resources for housing finance and extend credit to more households, it is necessary to integrate housing finance into the broader financial system and to use existing instruments or develop new instruments, as appropriate, to address the financial needs of people having limited or no access to credit.


81. To improve the effectiveness of existing housing finance systems, Governments at the appropriate levels should:

82. To create new housing finance mechanisms, as necessary, Governments at the appropriate levels should: 83. To facilitate access to housing for those not served by existing finance mechanisms, Governments should review and rationalize, where appropriate, systems of subsidies through policies that will ensure their viability, equity and transparency, thus allowing many people without access to credit and land to enter the market.

(e) Ensuring access to basic infrastructure and services

84. Basic infrastructure and services at the community level include the delivery of safe water, sanitation, waste management, social welfare, transport and communications facilities, energy, health and emergency services, schools, public safety, and the management of open spaces. The lack of adequate basic services, a key component of shelter, exacts a heavy toll on human health, productivity and the quality of life, particularly for people living in poverty in urban and rural areas. Local and state/provincial authorities, as the case may be, have the primary responsibility to provide or enable delivery of services, regulated by appropriate legislation and standards. Their capacity to manage, operate and maintain infrastructure and basic services must be supported by central Governments. There are, however, a host of other actors, including the private sector, communities and non-governmental organizations, that can participate in service provision and management under the coordination of Governments at the appropriate levels, including local authorities.


85. To safeguard the health, safety, welfare and improved living environment of all people and to provide adequate and affordable basic infrastructure and services, Governments at the appropriate levels, including local authorities, should promote:

86. To ensure more equitable provision of basic infrastructure and service delivery systems, Governments at the appropriate levels, including local authorities, should: 87. To ensure the efficiency of infrastructure and the provision of services and their operation and maintenance practices, Governments at the appropriate levels, including local authorities, should: 88. With rapid urbanization, population growth and industrialization, the skills, materials and financing for the planning, design, construction, maintenance, and rehabilitation of housing, infrastructure and other facilities are often not available or are of inferior quality. Public policy and private investment should, together, facilitate an adequate supply of cost-effective building materials, construction technology and bridging finance to avoid the bottlenecks and distortions that inhibit the development of local and national economies. By improving quality and reducing the cost of production, housing and other structures will last longer, be better protected against disasters, and be affordable to low-income populations and accessible to persons with disabilities, which will provide a better living environment. The potential for job creation and other positive external socio-economic impacts of the construction industry should be harnessed; its activity should be brought into harmony with the environment, and its contribution to overall economic growth should be exploited, all to the advantage of society at large. Institutional support should also be provided in the form of industrial standards and quality control, with particular attention to energy efficiency, health, accessibility, and consumer safety and protection.

89. Meeting the actual needs of individuals, families and their communities cannot be achieved by looking at shelter in isolation. The provision of adequate social services and facilities, the improvement and rationalization of urban planning and shelter design to cope firmly with the actual needs of communities, and the provision of technical and other relevant assistance to the inhabitants of unplanned settlements are essential for the improvement of living conditions.


90. To respond effectively to the requirements for appropriate planning, design, construction, maintenance and rehabilitation of shelter, infrastructure and other facilities, Governments at the appropriate levels should:

91. To promote and support an adequate supply of locally produced, environmentally sound, affordable and durable basic building materials, Governments at the appropriate levels, in cooperation with all other interested parties, should: 92. To enhance the local capacity for environmentally sound production of building materials and construction techniques, Governments at the appropriate levels, including local authorities, in cooperation with all interested parties, should:
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