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As the 2016-17 World Habitat Awards cycle comes to an end we look forward to announcing our two winners in the coming weeks. The awards celebrate innovative approaches to housing which make a difference to the homes of low income or marginalised people and communities. Beyond this our finalists and winning projects are people-focused with participation of the community at the core of their practices, promoting social inclusion amongst those living in the homes and often those building them. Others may focus on creating environmentally efficient housing using new building methods or traditional techniques. Ultimately we look for projects which result in people living in safe and healthy habitats.

As always, our finalists this year are all fantastic. The finalist projects span eleven countries and focus on everything from traditional construction methods, to the use of empty homes, to the development of Community Land Trusts. All the projects demonstrate amazing innovations and new ways of thinking being used around the world, to show how affordable and good housing can be a reality for everyone.

As a relatively new member of staff at World Habitat it has been refreshing to discover these new ideas – something that in my experience is often lost in the panic over the need for affordable homes in the UK. For this blog I asked World Habitat staff to look back over a specific 2016-17 finalist and respond to “Why does this project inspire you?” Here’s what they said:

David Blog

Jenny L BlogJen N BlogJelly BlogJo BlogKim BlogMariangela BlogSharon BlogISOBELElena BlogChristine BlogFor me the resilience and determination found in the success of these projects is inspiring. In a world where housing is dominated by a need for profit it is refreshing to see that there is another way. They also demonstrate how simple innovations from the ground up which listen to what people need can go a long way to improve people’s everyday life. The fact we highlight and recognise this is something I love about the World Habitat Awards.

We encourage you to find your own inspiration among these and our many other World Habitat Award winners and finalists. It is going to be a tough decision but we will soon be announcing the winners of the 2016-17 competition. I’m sure you will agree that all the finalist projects are amazing in their own right. If you would like to tell us what has inspired you please get in touch!

If you are involved in a project which provides safe, secure housing in an inclusive, innovative way, we are now accepting applications for the 2017-18 World Habitat Awards! Apply here by the 1st March 2017.

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