Partnership will focus on COVID-19’s global impact, intersection of housing and health, climate change, and sustainable development goals                                                                                                      

Nairobi, Atlanta, August 2021 — As the world strives to recover from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, calls to make safe and affordable housing a priority in local and national social and economic recovery efforts are growing. Understanding the critical role home plays in the lives of families around the world, Habitat for Humanity International and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme recently renewed their partnership to collaborate and promote the global need for affordable housing.

The partnership builds on the long-term cooperation between the two organisations, demonstrated by the range of thematic areas and the different operational levels where joint work is envisaged.  Over the next five years, the two organizations will work together to support the development and implementation of sustainable and affordable housing programs globally and provide enhanced support to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda

The joint work will include sharing innovative practices and knowledge through training and education, joint advocacy and communication efforts, and raising awareness and support of policies as they relate to issue areas such as COVID-19’s impact on informal settlements and economies, climate change adaptation strategies, the broader linkages between housing and health and the localization of Sustainable Development Goals.

“Since its foundation, UN-Habitat has worked to promote the realization of the right to adequate housing for all as one of the global transformative forces that can overcome challenges related to climate change, poverty, exclusion, and inequality,” said the Executive Director of UN-Habitat Ms Maimunah Mohd Sharif. “Housing is not only a human right, but also a precondition for the enjoyment of many other fundamental rights, human dignity and overall well-being. The COVID-19 crisis has reminded us of this in the most acute manner.”

The Executive Director called the document signed by the two agencies a “Memorandum of Action”, as UN-Habitat and Habitat for Humanity already understand each other and are aligned in recognising adequate housing as a critical priority especially in the framework of the COVID-19 recovery.

“The COVID-19 pandemic exposed a multitude of inequities in vulnerable communities around the world, including the need for safe, decent, and affordable housing. It also emphasized the important role a decent home plays in the health and wellbeing of families,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “Our continued partnership with UN-Habitat will enhance our collective efforts in bringing knowledge and awareness of the housing needs of families and communities around the world.”

Habitat for Humanity and UN-Habitat have worked closely together since 1976. Throughout their relationship, the two organizations have co-sponsored and coordinated several global and regional housing forums to share knowledge of housing innovation strategies. The organizations entered into a formal partnership in 2014 to address global poverty and promote sustainable cities and human settlements through social, economic, cultural, and environmental efforts.

About UN-Habitat

UN-Habitat works in over 90 countries supporting people in cities and human settlements for a better urban future. A significant part of its work relates to responding to natural and man-made crises and on building back in a greener, safer and in a more resilient and inclusive way.  Working with governments and local partners, its high impact projects combine world-class expertise and local knowledge to deliver timely and targeted solutions. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes a dedicated Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on cities, SDG 11, to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

About Habitat for Humanity

Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity found its earliest inspirations as a grassroots movement on an interracial community farm in southern Georgia. Since its founding in 1976, the Christian housing organization has grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit

For more information contact

Susannah Price UN-Habitat Chief of Communication (254) 722 719867

Mackenzie Miotke  Habitat for Humanity International (404) 420-6732