Global Housing Foundation (GHF) was launched in 1999 when its late founder, E. René Frank took up a challenge from the United Nations Commission on Human Settlements (UNCHS) as to why the private real estate industry did not do more to help solve the housing crisis around the world. GHF’s mission is to energize the private sector to do more by establishing effective partnerships to create housing for the working poor. René Frank hoped that he and others in his industry could make a real contribution to alleviating the deplorable living conditions in many of the world's inner-city slums.
GHF was established as an independent, U.S. and European based not-for-profit organization that leverages the expertise and resources of the private real estate community to build new affordable housing for the working poor around the world. René Frank received immediate cooperation from the UNCHS (UN-HABITAT) and other United Nations' agencies, including sponsorship from FIABCI, the International Real Estate Federation. He was also moved by the generous response of colleagues in the American and international real estate industries.