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Delegate of the US from UN-Habitat explains working paper for affordable housing

By Sky News at 10:36 AM 5/31/2020 (PDT)

We recently had the opportunity to conduct an interview with the delegate of the US in the UN-Habitat committee, as delegates move towards writing working papers and draft resolutions. The delegate of the US provided a more in-depth perspective into how the committee is functioning as one bloc and working towards writing one resolution.

Sky News Reporter: How intensely are you weighing natural factors while considering solutions?

Delegate of the US: The US believes that it's important to be wary of immediately relocating people. Although natural disasters may present dangerous situations, we cannot entirely control the movement of citizens. At some point, it becomes their discretion if they want to improve their safety or have more access to their jobs. We want to provide some of that discretion instead of forcibly relocating people into other locations. The USA would like to see some leeway in the inhabitants contributing to these decisions.

Sky News Reporter: Do you believe the use of IGOs will benefit your draft resolutions?

Delegate of the US: The US feels that it’s important to have some form of sub-committee or some group to moderate and oversee the solutions being implemented. If left to just the countries, they will be unable to benefit all parties involved. Therefore, IGOs are important in holding the solution accountable and verifiable. For example, this organization will function as a watchdog to conduct background checks.

Sky News Reporter: What do you think the effect of displacement will have on slum-dwellers?

Delegate of the US: There’s lots of possible effects that could result from displacement. If slum-dwellers are displaced to the outskirts of cities, where transportation costs are so excessively high, it may force them to leave these safer lands and return to slums. Slums in general lack proper infrastructure, health and sanitation. In the end, it’s important that these solutions are equitable. Slum dwellers make the biggest difference and are major contributors in the effectiveness of any solutions for inadequate housing.

Sky News Reporter: What do you think the effect of displacement will have on the economy?

Delegate of the US: If slum-dwellers are unable to get to work as a result of displacement, the economy will suffer. Obviously, the slum economy will also suffer as there will be less money circulated after displacement. Clearly, this will result in an overall decrease of the strength of the economy.

Sky News Reporter: What are some main points included in the working paper?

Delegate of the US: One of the main points of the working paper includes advice for countries on how to upgrade amenities. A lot of the content touches on finance and methods to implement affordable housing. The final two sections explain the suggested role of the government, and outline how they are not implementers of the solution.

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