Community-led housing: a pathway for more caring and just urban futures

Date: Thursday, 24 June 2021
Where: Online
Houses behind a stretch of water, with the houses reflected in the water

Housing units build through community-led practices in Bangkok, Thailand (Photo: Alexandre Apsan Frediani, IIED)

With the loss of livelihoods and income due to COVID-19 having increased housing insecurity across the world, this online event explored the role of community-led initiatives in solving the global housing crisis.

Em português

Loss of livelihoods and income due to COVID-19 has increased housing insecurity globally. The fear of forced evictions and foreclosures is part of everyday life in too many neighbourhoods in cities around the world.

Building on a series of dialogues with civil society networks and institutions in the global South, this online event discussed the role of community-led practices in solving the housing crisis and the institutional conditions necessary to enable and support community-led housing.

To alleviate the shock generated by the pandemic, civil society groups and networks worldwide are providing support to those most vulnerable to housing hardship through community-led housing initiatives.

By creating networks that co-produce and share valuable knowledge across geographies, these groups often produce more effective responses to housing emergencies that build inclusive and resilient pathways for urban development.

At this online IIED Debates event, co-hosted by Le Monde Diplomatique Brasil and the Citizenship School of Polis Institute, we heard experiences and reflections from six civil society networks and institutions: Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre, the Federation of the Urban and Rural Poor of Sierra Leone, Kasetsart University (Thailand), Polis Institute, União dos Movimentos de Moradia (Brazil) and UrbaMonde. Panellists shared experiences and challenges from their diverse efforts to advance community-led housing.

We learned how practices of community-led housing can create pathways for more caring and just urban futures and the ways the COVID-19 housing crisis has shed light on those pathways. The speakers shared insights into the areas of community-led housing in need of more support from governments and institutions.

The discussion builds on a series of dialogues led by IIED researchers and a recent blog published in Le Monde Diplomatique Brasil as part of the ‘Cities of Tomorrow’ series.


Juliette Tunstall (, IIED's internal engagement and external events officer