About IHC

Registered as a 501 (c )(3) non-profit organization, IHC is an independent global membership coalition of national and international NGOs, civil society organizations, private sector companies, corporations, and individuals committed to inclusive housing, equitable urban development and sustainable, inclusive cities. IHC is committed to the principle that greater income equality and greater prosperity for all can result from an integrated, resource-supported plan for the development of a spatially, socially and economically inclusive city that engages all citizens and incentivizes partnerships, investments and engagement to address shared problems.

The Global Coalition 2016

AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust
Affordable Housing Institute
Beekman Advisors
Canadian Real Estate Association*
Chemonics International

Compass Housing Services (Australia)
Development Innovations Group
Enclude LLC
Global Communities
Global Urban Development
Habitat for Humanity International*
Housing Partnership Network
International City/County Management Association
International Real Property Foundation
Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University
J.J. Palmtag, Inc.
Millennium Water Alliance
Mortgage Bankers Association
National Association of Home Builders
National Association of REALTORS *
National Housing Conference
Pan American Development Foundation
Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
Research Triangle Institute (RTI)
Somerset Development Company
Stewart Information International
TCG International
Urban Institute
Water Aid America
Westmoreland Associates
Women’s Council of REALTORS

* Founding Sponsor

The Issue

In 2008, the global urban population exceeded the rural for the first time in history. Population growth is expected to add 2.5 billion people by the year 2050. Sixty-Six percent of that population– about 6.5 billion– will be living in urban areas.

Today, more than 1 billion people (almost 15% of the world’s population) live in slums, where many struggle to access adequate shelter, water and sanitation, healthcare, and sufficient employment.

Yet cities also hold tremendous potential for equitable growth and new opportunities for the poor. Creating sustainable cities can:

  • Spur economic advancement for the poor and accelerate economic growth;
  • Engage the poor as members of an inclusive society;
  • Boost private sector opportunities for housing, infrastructure and services; and
  • Improve public health conditions, educational opportunities and empower women and girls.

Rapid urban population growth is a tough challenge. City level planning, investment and governance structures are often outpaced by such rapid growth. Global attention and funding to address urban poverty is limited and often focused on acute needs rather than the underlying causes.

Global Goal 11 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls on cities to become inclusive, resilient safe and sustainable.  This vision for more equitable urban development can be achieved with the right opportunities.

With inclusionary policies and investment, cities and slums don’t have to come as a package deal.

The IHC Program

IHC seeks to build global constituency of advocates, aware of global and local implications, challenges and solutions for more equitable urban development. We work to sway public opinion, shape public policy and increase resource allocation and programs to enhance urban equity and opportunity. IHC aims to do this by:

  • Being an aggregating voice through its membership and constituency;
  • Influencing policy and practice through solution-oriented analyses and information sharing;
  • Keeping a steady light shining on the needs and rights of the urban poor, and their central place within the entire global Agenda for Sustainable Development, aligning with like-minded organizations;
  • Educating and advocating about key urban equity drivers;
  • Developing and sharing knowledge and innovation supporting the new vision of the city embodied in Global Goal 11, including the pathways to prosperity that can be forged through policies and investments designed with Goal 11 in mind; and
  • Educating and advocating about delivery of inclusive and affordable housing, which includes improved access to basic services and the full range of opportunity provided by cities.

IHC will also expand and add value to membership through services and information, continuing advocacy, and internationalizing membership.

What happens in cities will determine our collective future!

Current IHC Focus Areas

IHC is focusing attention on six issue areas that are critical to achieving greater urban equity.  With focused attention, they become drivers for positive change.  In the absence of attention, they are insurmountable barriers to equity.

Climate Resilience and the Urban Poor

The poor are particularly vulnerable to climate-induced shocks in cities, due to poor housing conditions, dangerous land conditions, and lack of services or safety nets after major weather events.

Urban Water and Sanitation

The current approach to urban services leaves the very poor out.  Lack of access, availability, and affordability to urban water and sanitation services has created a situation where 2.5 billion people worldwide lack access to sanitation.

Gender and Land Security

Lack of access to land or secure tenure regularly results in informal settlements and sprawl onto dangerous and unstable land. These issues are particularly acute for women. Due to formal and customary laws they often lack the right to own or possess land even if it’s available.

Urban Food Security

The urban poor are particularly connected to rural food systems through remittances and physical assistance at high intensity harvest times. Systems of transportation and appropriate policy are required to effectively bring larger and larger amounts of food into urban settings.

Housing and Equitable Development

Housing is directly connected basic services, infrastructure, transportation, civic engagement, and economic opportunity, and so adequate housing can lead to growth and greater overall prosperity in cities.

Migration and its Implications

Current global conflicts leave countries struggling with the influx of refugees. Traditional refugee camps and services are increasingly out of date in today’s urban landscape; policy makers and practitioners alike are struggling with how best to provide assistance to refugees in an urban setting.