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The first certified Zero Net Energy Ready rental housing development in the USA providing year-round housing to agricultural workers in California and a project that helped more than 15,000 families rebuild their homes following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines are the winners of this year’s World Habitat Awards.

Each year the World Habitat Awards are presented to two outstanding and innovative housing projects – from over 100 entries from across the world. The judges are particularly keen to award projects and providers that have not only produced outstanding housing solutions but those that can also be copied elsewhere.

The two World Habitat Award winners 2017 are:

Post-Haiyan Self-Recovery Housing Programme, Philippines: after the widespread devastation of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, this project helped over 15,500 families to self-recover. Instead of relocating families, the project helped people rebuild their housing using locally available materials and debris from destroyed houses. This means fewer families were relocated and they have gained useful skills, as well as enabling people to be reached and helped more quickly.

Mutual Housing at Spring Lake, USA: based in Woodland in Yolo County, California, this project provides year-round housing to agricultural workers. The estimated 6,000+ agricultural workers in the county endure some of the worst housing conditions and most dangerous jobs in the country. Mutual Housing worked with families to provide secure affordable homes which was also the first certified 100% Zero Net Energy Ready rental housing development in the USA, meaning utility bills are extremely low.

Alongside the winners are eight finalists including two who received a special mention from the judges:

Residential Energy Efficiency for Low Income Households, Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Macedonia (Special Mention)
Helping low income homeowners in former state-owned multi-apartment blocks to improve their energy efficiency.

Bringing light and air to homes in informal settlements, India (Special Mention)
Improving lighting and ventilation in homes of self-employed women with a simple dormer window specially designed for corrugated roofs.

Building Malaria Prevention, Cameroon
Reducing the number of malaria-carrying mosquitoes entering homes with simple adaptations in one of the poorest informal urban settlements in the country.

How the community rescued the historic centre of San Salvador, El Salvador
Regenerating the historic centre through community cooperatives working together to dramatically improve their own neighbourhoods.

From Disaster to Dignity, El Salvador
Rebuilding the community after years of civil unrest and two successive earthquakes with a savings and credit cooperative run by and for women.

Empowering marginalised women through home ownership, India
Helping the most vulnerable women in rural communities to establish and fulfil their right to land and housing with self-build homes.

Düzce Hope Homes, Turkey
Extending the right to housing to all those affected by major earthquakes through community-led activism and campaigning.

Hemsworth Court, United Kingdom
Providing purpose-built supported housing for people with dementia and cognitive impairment in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

David Ireland, Director of World Habitat, funders and co-ordinators of the World Habitat Awards, said: “Billions of people across the world still lack a safe home. These remarkable projects show that it doesn’t have to be like that. Brilliant people and brilliant ideas have come together to show that people on low-incomes can live safely, free from the fear of disease, natural disasters and insecurity.”

Judge of the awards, Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, explains: “All of this year’s World Habitat Awards finalists are interesting and important. They are helping so many people in difficult and vulnerable circumstances. Worldwide the right to adequate housing is under threat. So it’s incredibly heartening to know that there are groups of people working together to ensure a dignified and improved life through adequate housing. ”

Full details can be found at

Notes to editors:

The World Habitat Awards established in 1985 are the world’s leading housing awards. They are run with support from UN-Habitat.  The two winners receive £10,000 and international peer exchange activities to inspire, showcase and transfer world beating ideas.

To arrange interviews with the winners or for photography please contact: Kim Salt, Communications Manager, email tel +44 (0)1530 510444.

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