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Over 100 inspiring housing projects from around the world entered the 2016-17 World Habitat Awards and we can now reveal our 12 finalists. This year’s projects span across the globe from the USA to Sri Lanka. They showcase a variety of housing solutions including post-disaster, community-led approaches, homes for marginalised or vulnerable groups and developing local skills for income generation.

The 2016-17 finalists are:

Passiv Solar Verandas – Afghanistan
Improving living conditions for low-income families in harsh climates. Passiv Solar Verandas are built onto homes to create additional living space and provide warm air to circulate around the house, using locally trained craftsmen to create income generation opportunities.

Intercultural Neighbourhood – Argentina
Developing housing and intercultural communal living between the indigenous Mapuche community and impoverished creole communities. This community-led collaboration focuses on different marginalised people working together to construct housing and other community facilities using eco-technologies and local materials.

A Roof, A Skill, A Market – Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Benin & Ghana
Creating vaulted roofs using sun-dried mud bricks, replacing unsuitable materials often used for housing in this region. Through pan-African collaborations and knowledge exchanges, the model has been widely adopted across five countries helping to strengthen local skills and networks and delivering affordable housing to many communities.

Resilient Social Housing – Chile
Reconstructing houses and livelihoods after an earthquake and tsunami in 2010 destroyed over 11,000 buildings on the Chilean coast. ‘Stilt houses’ have been built to withstand the effects of future natural disasters, shaped around local community needs enabling coastal communities to remain in their neighbourhoods and having a positive impact on the local economy and culture.

Urban Shelter Project – Jordan
Refurbishing previously uninhabitable properties to provide medium-term rent-free homes for Syrian refugees. This integrated approach to housing refugees also provides long-term assets for the host community through the improvement of the housing available, providing jobs and reducing conflicts between host and refugee communities.

Promoting eco-sanitation in informal settlements – Kenya
Improving water and sanitation facilities in urban informal settlements allowing marginalised communities to access basic services through community-led bio-centres. This eco-sanitation project provides sustainable and effective solutions to sanitation challenges, as well as providing multi-functional community spaces, a source of income and the opportunity for skills development.

Reconstruction of Habitat – Mexico
Reviving and reaffirming traditional construction techniques for self-built, resilient housing in areas vulnerable to natural disasters. With a focus on environmental sustainability, low-income communities use traditional knowledge combined with modern approaches to improve their resilience by developing homes and community spaces.

50,000 Houses for War Victims – Sri Lanka
Rebuilding homes for communities displaced by the Sri Lankan civil war. With the majority of housing being self-build, this project has focused on people-led recovery beyond just housing through the provision of financial and organisational support.

More than Housing – Switzerland
Promoting social diversity and environmental sustainability in one of the largest and most ambitious co-operative housing programmes in Europe. Adequate and affordable housing is made available for a wide range of people from diverse backgrounds with community-led management and collaboration between 50 different co-operatives.

Granby Four Streets Community Land Trust – United Kingdom
Renovating homes through community-led regeneration in one of the poorest communities in the UK. With creativity, art and community projects, a neighbourhood which has experienced many years of decline and dereliction has seen huge improvements in its appeal and vibrancy whilst providing affordable homes for local families in need.

Stonewall Housing – United Kingdom
Providing the UK’s only housing advice, advocacy and accommodation specifically for LGBT people often marginalised by mainstream services. A wide variety of services and projects support LGBT people facing housing issues, developing awareness and procedures that deliver equal access to services.

Iberville Offsites: affordable homes resisting gentrification – United States of America
Providing affordable housing for low-income families in neighbourhoods vulnerable to gentrification and natural disasters in New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina left many people homeless and whole communities displaced, this project improves entire neighbourhoods through the renovation of historic properties to house vulnerable people at subsidised rents.

Our two winners will be announced in early 2017.

We are always looking for projects from around the world that provide innovative answers to housing problems. If you have an inspiring project to share with us, find out more about entering the 2017-18 World Habitat Awards here.

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