QUESTION OF: Measures to improve the housing conditions of population living in slums or informal settlements


CO-SUBMITTERS:Mexico, Syrian Arab Rep., Nicaragua, Ecuador, Singapore, Belarus, Namibia, Mauritania, Jamaica, Colombia, Mozambique.



Bearing in mind that a slum household is a group of individuals living under the same roof in an urban area who lack durable housing, sufficient living space, easy access to safe water, access to adequate sanitation, and security defined by the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT),

Taking into account that informal settlements are areas where the residents have no security of tenure of the land or the house they inhabit which generally doesn’t comply with the current planning and building regulations according to UN-HABITAT,

Expressing its satisfaction of past attempts made in an effort to sustain a transition in informal settlements and slums such as the United Nations (UN) General Assembly Resolution 71/256 “New Urban Agenda,” as part of the Quito Declaration,

Recalling the Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements, issued in the context of the second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, which endorsed the universal goal of providing sufficient shelter for all, 

Alarmed of 23.5% of the global urban population resides in slums and informal settlements in 2018, where urban population in slums is 95.4% in Central African Republic and 91.4% in Sudan, 

Noting with approval the UN Sustainable Development Goal 11.1, which targets to secure “access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic service and upgrade slums” by 2030,

Deploring the hindrance to the establishment of sustainable cities due to the continual proliferation of slums and informal settlements in urban and suburban regions worldwide,

Recognizing the importance of approaching slum and informal settlement upgrading in multiple dimensions, including legal, physical and social aspects,

  1. Calls upon governments of member states to devise a comprehensive standard for houses qualifying as slums and informal settlements to register them into a national database through:
    1. locating and documenting areas with clear signs of habitation, that is, with established infrastructure and human occupancy but lacks:
      1. connectivity to major drainage/sewage systems and utilities networks
      2. in-date legal documentation to prove they are regularized by governments
      3. legal evidence provided by occupants to prove a licit claim to their properties or land of habitation
    2. compiling the above data into official reports and submitting these reports to UN-HABITAT annually and ensuring that these reports are accessible to all member nations for reference and comparison of progress in slum upgrading;
  2. Requests the cooperation of governments to implement a policy of adequate housing by prioritizing specified regional solutions by means of:
    1. reviewing inclusive urban legislative policies for dwellers through:
      1. providing different tenure types and land use options in order for the resettlement or transition policies to be implemented
      2. considering the social and economic structure of the region in resettlement projects
      3. the creation of measures to resettle the informal dwellers
    2. aid for low- and middle-income affordable housing projects by:
      1. taking into account the dynamics of communities and environmental factors by the methods in clause 3
      2. funding of the World Bank and the support of local NGOs that are implicated in action
    3. adoption of a long term urban transformation legislative that could alleviate the issue with the aims of:
      1. expropriation of land and the establishment of new expropriation policies guarding the welfare of the settlers
      2. sharing the construction rights of the non-expropriated lands with public authorities and private sector for the construction of buildings suitable for sustainable urbanization
      3. construction of disaster-resistant buildings
      4. opportunity to renovate infrastructure
      5. creation of a government based committee of experts to advise and control the process of legislation and operation of the urban transformation
      6. extending poor drainage systems that may not hold the pressure of natural disasters, such as tsunamis;
  3. Encourages the establishment of new infrastructural facilities for the residents of slums where the cramming of people make the already present structures deficient as an effort to improve the housing conditions of the settlers and to prevent further urban sprawl by means of:
    1. refurbishing the roads that are already existent as well as building new routes in suburbs and city centers that connect with the slums
    2. providing the neighborhoods and regions electricity with a two-step plan ensuring the immediate action and long term readjustment by:
      1. implementing the first step by giving mobile electricity and air conditioning service to neighborhoods
      2. implementing the second step via the renovation of underground installations;
  4. Further recommends all member states to encourage housing development investments and the housing industry in their economic development strategies in order to set a stable long-run economic relationship of housing and construction investments to create a resettlement reform as a result of:
    1. the government aid as an affordable opportunity of renting, which will contribute to the industry by urging citizens to buy houses that could be rented
    2. measures to control the inflation of the rents and sales in order to encourage the low and middle-income slum households to move into better housing
    3. implementing tax relief to the private construction sector mentioned in clause 3 as an incentive to informal settlement renovation;
  5. Further requests nation states to collaborate with UN-HABITAT, the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and devise plans for urbanization via:
    1. analyzing and studying model city plans, such as but not limited to the “15-minute neighborhood” plan of Ottawa, Canada through means of:
      1. demographic regional and national population estimates of age, sex, education to take the issues on an economic and social basis
      2. mapping and cartography applications to enable sustainable development in urban areas entailing a future acquisition or enhancement to city zones by monitoring the slum expansion
    2. constructing individual plans for cities and urbanization wherein settlements contain safe and inhabitable infrastructure, access to essential services, including but not limited to water and electricity, as well as registration for education and medical care for all inhabitants with property rights;
  6. Endorses the creation of an international United Nations (UN) sponsored project dubbed the ‘New Living Initiative’ wherein architects and engineers from around the world work to create a plethora of standard designs for cheap, prefabricated, and affordable housing similar to the ‘Khrushchyovkas’ of the Soviet Union and the ‘Danchi’ of Japan, but made more durable and with modern technology, meant to replace slums and informal dwellings while also incorporating the opinions of slum dwellers by:
    1. connecting residents with architects, engineers and social workers in order to:
      1. enable residents to share their possible thoughts on the initiative
      2. inform residents about possible plans for slum-improvement projects;
  7. Calls for the creation of the ‘United Nations Housing Commission’ (UNHC) under the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) in order to facilitate the international eradication of the existence of slums and informal settlements in their entirety with government cooperation by means of the following process:
    1. surveying and gathering information on a given slum designated for removal and taking a census of:
      1. local industries and businesses
      2. populations statistics and the willingness of residents to leave their slum in order to gauge and prepare for potential resistance to eviction
    2. the construction of a neighborhood based on the aforementioned ‘New Living Initiative’ housing designs as geographically close to the pre-existing slum as possible and with allocated spaces for:
      1. establishing local businesses to allow opportunities to former slum-dwellers for a low price
      2. renewable energy grids concerning solar, wind, etc. in order to ensure true sustainability
      3. relatively cheap spaces for medium to large-sized businesses to expand and provide employment opportunities for locals
      4. the relocation of people in the slum to the new neighborhood where a house or apartment will be granted for free or for an affordable price to each family
    3. cooperation with companies and non-profit organizations to create an initial commercial sector in the new neighborhood and provide employment opportunities therein;
  8. Urges further capacity building to be provided by national governments and the UNDP to the aforementioned neighborhoods to ensure their continued success and prosperity by means such as but not limited to:
    1. providing education and providing opportunities for the former slum-dwellers by:
      1. giving residents that have pre-existing skill support in finding employment or starting their own Small Scale Enterprise (SSE)
      2. through workshops and community gatherings, training people with no pre-existing qualifications or skills how to find work and maintain a modern and fully equipped housing unit giving them actual skills specific to low and middle-income jobs
      3. offering residents government jobs and/or ensuring they are given priority when businesses nearby are hiring for jobs which residents of new neighborhoods are qualified for
      4. UNDP ensuring public schools in new neighborhoods are properly funded and supported when residents move  into their new neighborhoods.