World Habitat Awards 2021 the winning projects


The World Habitat organization is committed to the fundamental right to safe and secure housing. For this reason, it works with UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Program, to ensure a better urban future. The World Habitat Awards are one of the tools used to recognize the efforts made in this direction.
The two gold winners of the 2021 World Habitat Awards are Presentation of community land trusts in continental Europe project in Brussels, and the Housing monitor project carried out by the Public Works Studio in Beirut.
The first project tackles the affordable housing crisis in Brussels, caused by rising house prices and a lack of social housing, which left low-income people with no choice but to rent poor quality housing or to leave the city. The project is managed by Community Land Trust Brussels (CLTB), which advocates the use of the Community Land Trust model in Belgium to address this growing problem. Houses are sold 30 to 50 percent below market prices and the cost of the house is subsidized based on the family’s ability to pay. So far, CLTB has completed five projects, housing 450 people in 103 housing units, while four more projects are currently under preparation.
Housing monitor, on the other hand, is a Beirut-based housing rights project managed by the Public Works Studio. It provides support to people who report housing violations and injustices such as evictions, having resolved 472 cases to date. Public Works Studio responds to the housing needs of individuals by providing them with access to legal and social services, raising awareness among vulnerable groups, including low-income Lebanese residents, refugees and migrant domestic workers. As the first project of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region, Housing Monitor gives these communities a voice to claim their basic housing rights and campaign for a more just and equitable society. The two Gold Award winners receive £ 10,000 and the opportunity to participate in international development activities.
In addition to these two Gold Award winners, World Habitat also presents two silver prizes and four bronze prizes. The first Silver Award goes to “Integrated community development for poverty reductionin Bhutan, which aims to improve the living conditions of isolated communities through the integration of housing, sanitation, livelihoods and food security. The second Silver Award winner, on the other hand, is the “Safe Homes for Women in Hull“in the UK. This project is testing a homeownership model for charities to provide housing with integrated services to women and their children who have experienced domestic violence.
Sanitary module in Argentina, winner of the Bronze Award, addresses the lack of hygiene services in informal settlements by installing bathroom and kitchen modules in homes, as well as providing families with hygiene kits. A bronze prize was also awarded to Arkom Indonesia, the organization that, following the 2018 tsunami in Palu Bay, helped the local community manage their recovery and reconstruction as well as a safe resettlement near the sea which is their main source of income. Also in reference to a natural disaster, another bronze medalist is the reconstruction of housing after the earthquake project in Mexico that uses natural materials and vernacular techniques, combined with a participatory, inclusive and diverse design, to fight housing poverty among vulnerable groups. Finally, the last bronze medalist is the MiCASiTA: Progressive funding for affordable housing expansion in the United States, a phased construction project in Texas that offers low-cost mortgages that adapt and grow as families expand and expand their homes.
The award-winning projects illustrate the wide range of housing challenges facing people around the world, from the impact of the climate emergency to housing rights to affordability. But, as David Ireland, Managing Director of World Habitat says, “there are solutions and steps that can be taken to ensure that safe and secure housing can be a reality for everyone – rather than an aspiration. “

Christiane Bürklein

Global Housing Prices 2021
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