World Cities Day marked successfully across the globe_1El Salvador, 3 November 2015– During World Cities Day, the president of El Salvador, Salvador Sanchez Cerén, launched the National Housing and Habitat Policy (NHHP) that seeks to facilitate access to decent housing for families and opportunities for improving the quality of life in urban areas. The NHHP took more than two years to be completed by the Management Group constituted of public institutions, private sector partners, civil society organizations and international agencies. UN-Habitat was an active participant in this process. "Having a house is important. Ownership is often one’s first investment," said President Sanchez, adding that housing plays a decisive role in the quality of people´s life, as well as boosting the economy and creating social cohesion. Spanning over the next thirty years, the NHHP guidelines emphasize on the promotion of social housing, reduction of the qualitative and quantitative housing deficit, and building living environments that foster a climate of greater social cohesion. In addition, housing is also seen as a catalyst for economic activity as it generates employment, stimulates the building material industry as well as the financial sector. The NHHP is based on six main principles which are:

  • Quantitative and qualitative housing deficit
  • Access to land, basic services, public spaces and equipment
  • Housing finance and housing
  • Competitiveness, innovation and use of technology
  • Social cohesion
  • Institutional system and legal framework

"The NHHP is a first in our country’s history. That it has been built in a participatory and consensual manner with nine organizations representing different interests makes it even more special," said the Deputy Minister of Housing, Roberto Góchez. The NHHP was elaborated by the management group composed of:

  • Habitat for Humanity El Salvador
  • The Council of Mayors and Planning Office of the Metropolitan Area of ​​San Salvador, COAMSS-OPAMSS
  • The Salvadoran Foundation for Development and Minimum Housing FUNDASAL
  • The Jose Simeon Canas Central American University, UCA
  • The National Commission for Residents, CONAPO
  • The College of Architects of El Salvador, CADES
  • The Salvadoran Association of Engineers and Architects, ASIA
  • The Programme of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat