Habitat III logoHUD and Habitat III


Habitat III is the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, scheduled to take place October 17 - 20, 2016, in Quito, Ecuador. The UN convened the first Habitat conference in 1976 in Vancouver, sparking an international dialogue on urban issues. Twenty years later, at Habitat II in Istanbul, Turkey, world leaders adopted the Habitat Agenda, a global action plan aimed at providing adequate shelter for all. The Habitat III Conference is intended to reinvigorate the global commitment to sustainable urbanization. At Habitat III, participants will develop a “New Urban Agenda,” an action-oriented outcome document that addresses 21st Century challenges and harnesses the tremendous potential of cities to promote sustainable development.

HUD’s Habitat III Preparations

HUD, in partnership with the Department of State, is leading U.S. government preparations for Habitat III. HUD is committed to facilitating a dynamic and inclusive preparatory process that engages a diverse set of U.S. government and civil society stakeholders.

In December 2014, HUD kicked off its Habitat III preparations by forming a U.S. National Committee for Habitat III. The National Committee is chaired by HUD Secretary Julián Castro and includes members from over 40 organizations including federal agencies, civil society, and philanthropy. National Committee members serve on three subcommittees tasked with advancing various elements of the U.S. government’s Habitat III preparations. Membership on the subcommittees is open, and interested individuals and groups are encouraged to take part. The three subcommittees are as follows:

  • U.S. National Report Subcommittee: contribute to and provide feedback on the U.S. National Report.
    Contact: habitatnationalreport@gmail.com
  • Connecting the U.S. to Global Conversations Subcommittee: serve as a liaison between the U.S. National Committee and other organizations, venues, and processes connected to Habitat III and relevant global discussions.
    Contact: habitatus2global@gmail.com
  • Education and Outreach Subcommittee: raise public awareness about urban development issues and trends in the U.S. and engage local communities in national preparations for Habitat III.
    Contact: habitat3outreach@gmail.com

Contact HUD

Contact us Habitat3@hud.gov for general questions or inquiries.

Invitation: Learning From the City, March 31

Please join us on Thursday, March 31, for a daylong forum on the past and the future of America’s Midwestern cities. Leading policy experts, urban practitioners, scholars, representatives of the philanthropic sector, and civil society will examine the ways in which Midwestern cities have tackled the challenges of urbanization over the last 20 years. Should there be a right to affordable housing? Has federal, state, and municipal policy invested in the social mobility of people? Are older industrial cities more prepared for economic shocks and environmental disasters — manmade or natural? Does “Big Data” help or hurt our progress? Join us for an interactive discussion that will inform the U.S. Delegation’s perspective leading up to Habitat III — the U.N. Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development.

If you would like to join in person, please register here.

This event will be livestreamed, and the link is: http://livestream.com/uchicagolive.

Preparing for the United Nations Habitat III Conference

Message from Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) Salin Geevarghese

Habitat, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Urban Sustainability, is held every 20 years. It’s been more than a year since HUD and its partners began preparations for Habitat III, which will be held this October in Quito, Ecuador. In this article, DAS Salin Geevarghese discusses HUD’s approach to the planning process, updates readers on the work so far, and previews a number of upcoming events that HUD is cosponsoring.

Read the full article on The Edge, the Office of Policy Development and Research’s online magazine.

Call for Abstracts for Habitat III Cityscape Articles

Cityscape, HUD’s journal for original research on housing and community development topics, will feature a Symposium on Habitat III. The intent is to initiate a dialogue on Habitat III by featuring research that addresses the issues being discussed. Abstracts were due January 29, 2016; final papers will be due June 15, 2016.

Please see the Call for Abstracts for more information.

National Report

As part of the Habitat III preparatory process, HUD is preparing a National Report that will be submitted to the Habitat III Secretariat. A draft National Report, developed in response to a template provided by the Secretariat, was submitted on April 1, 2015. A final National Report is being developed that tells the story of housing and urban development in the U.S. over the past 20 years in a manner that accurately reflects the U.S. experience during this timeframe.

The final U.S. report will be organized around three major themes. It will highlight federal, state, tribal, and local government and non-governmental examples to illustrate relevant programs, trends, and challenges.

The three main themes of the National Report are:

  • Investing in People and Communities for Upward Mobility
  • Securing Housing Options for All
  • Responding to Change and Building Resilience

The main report will be supplemented by materials produced by the National Report Subcommittee and other non-HUD entities to more completely describe the U.S. experience.

The final National Report is expected to be submitted to the Habitat III Secretariat in the spring of 2016.


As part of the global process leading up to Habitat III, a number of events will be held around the world, including the UN Habitat-convened global regional and thematic meetings and the Urban Thinkers Campuses.

HUD is co-hosting a series of 5 domestic convenings across the U.S. in the lead up to Habitat III to engage local and regional practitioners in the preparatory process. For more information on the domestic convenings or to explore partnership opportunities, contact Habitat3@hud.gov.

The convenings will take place in:

Chicago, IL (March 31, 2016)

Philadelphia, PA (May 17, 2016)

Denver, CO (May 20, 2016)

Miami, FL (June 13, 2016)

El Paso, TX (June 23, 2016)

Additionally, the Connecting the U.S. to Global Conversations Subcommittee is co-hosting a series of 5 DC-based sessions to inform and elevate discussion within the international affairs community. The sessions will cover topics related to sustainable urban development and advance U.S. policy for an increasingly urbanized world.

Sessions topics will include:

  • Urbanization and U.S. Foreign Policy (February 2016)
  • Resilient and Sustainable Cities: From COP21 to Habitat III (March 2016)
  • Urban Security: Building Safe and More Inclusive Cities (April 2016)
  • Cities and the SDGs: The Role of Cities in Realizing the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda (May 2016)
  • Defining and Implementing the New Urban Agenda (June 2016)