Aashiyana - Together, Towards Safer Homes

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Aashiyana - Together, Towards Safer Homes

Mumbai, Vapi, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad,Junagadh, Sidhpur, Nagpur, Ahmednagar, Yavatmal, Pune, Nanded, Rajkot, Adilabad, Nizamabad., IndiaIndia
Year Founded:
2008
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Aashiyana aims to create awareness among residents of housing societies towards good governance and management leading to maintenance and upkeep of societies to safe, secure and healthy habitats, leading to improvement in Quality of Life.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if Quality of Life in your living environment depended on your individual responsibility and collective endeavor?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Residents are oblivious of the need for regular building maintenance, internally and externally, to increase life of their buildings and its environment. If not addressed timely, it results in huge and unaffordable expenses.. Inefficient and ineffective management and governance in housing societies erodes the physical and social wellbeing. Housing society. We at AKPBS, I address this issue through the Aashiyana program

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Through the Aashiyana program, we promote social change, collective responsibility and leadership to improve quality of habitat by generating awareness and sensitizing communities in creating safe and healthy habitats. Following strategies are adopted: •Strengthen/ form housing society governing body and orient them on legal, technical and collective governance systems. •Orient residents on roles and responsibilities for collective ownership, regular upkeep and payment of society maintenance funds. •Undertake habitat studies, facilitate development of maintenance plans and orient governing body for implementation of the same. •Encourage and train habitat ambassadors at local level and enable them to conduct Aashiyana programs
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

At Platinum Jubilee Cooperative Housing Society in Nizamabad town, 74 housing units were inspected for structural distress and damages. It was found that buildings needed extensive repairs. Each wing was carrying out maintenance repair work in isolation leading to deterioration of the building’s structure and its common areas. AKPBS,I conducted a participatory Aashiyana Program with residents, sensitizing them on the need for strong governance and collective action. This led to formation of the Housing Society Committee and residents began contributing funds for repairs. The newly formed Governance body was educated on their roles and responsibilities in society administration thus leading to improved living conditions for all

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

In the last 5 years, 135 societies were surveyed in the programme. Our analysis reveals that 80 % lack effective governance and administration, 78% do not fulfill statutory requirements and 72% have poor maintenance systems. These factors lead to poor maintenance of buildings resulting in deterioration of structure and eventually requiring high cost repairs. Through the Aashiyana programme, we facilitated strengthening or formation of governance systems in 30 housing societies, repairs in 34, rainwater harvesting in 12, cleanliness drives in 4 addressing total of 17545 beneficiaries. Residents of housing societies were oriented and motivated to cooperate with their managing committees and contribute regularly for maintenance. Habitat in the societies has improved manifold and there is a visible difference in the physical environment as well as the social fabric of these communities
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Participatory approach involving unit owners while conducting their habitat study and identifying problems of the society will make them aware and encourage them to find solutions collectively. This will ensure sustainability of the programme within the society and serve as a successful model for other societies to seek our intervention.. A fee structure will help us recover our costs for conducting the programmes and providing technical support.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are consultants and individuals that address issues of governance and housing as separate services. There are others who conduct structural audits and structural repairs of buildings and utilities as professionals. However, we have not come across any organisation or individual consultant or a non-profit, which provides participatory housing society-specific integrated services of habitat study, problem identification, structural diagnosis, community management and mobilization, conflict resolution, governance strengthening, advice on corrective measures and assistance in implementation
Team

Founding Story

The 2001 Gujarat earthquake resulted in heavy loss of life and property due to poorly designed and maintained habitats. Other issues noticed included, unclean surroundings, improper garbage and sewage disposal, non-payment of common water, electricity and property charges. We realised the need to educate people on this since lapses were due to absence of responsible management structures. Individual members were fending for themselves in a disorganized manner. This was when the need for educating communities was felt, for creating governing and coordinating bodies for societies. The other need was for the members to contribute to the society funds to carry out these activities for which individual and collective responsibility was required
About You
Organization:
Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, India
About You
First Name

Anita

Last Name

Miya

LinkedIn URL
About Your Organization
Organization Name

Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, India

Organization Country

, MM

Country where this project is creating social impact

, MM, Mumbai, Vapi, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad,Junagadh, Sidhpur, Nagpur, Ahmednagar, Yavatmal, Pune, Nanded, Rajkot, Adilabad, Nizamabad.

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Impact
Full Impact Potential: What are the main spread strategies moving forward? (Please consider geographic spread, policy reform, and independent replication/adoption of the idea or other mechanisms.)

A cooperative housing society is a powerful social building block of democratic self-governance. It requires an enhanced level of awareness at the individual level as well as for elected office bearers. A well informed housing society is better equipped for efficient management and peaceful co-existence leading to better quality of life. Housing societies, existing and new would benefit from this programme in all cities and towns. The impact would then grow to a cluster level and settlement level in each city leading to bottom–up decision making and influencing habitat policy formulation

Barriers: What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

Awareness of preventive maintenance of built environment is generally limited and not a priority, especially in apartment buildings. Lack of information of statutory compliances in cooperative housing societies is a barrier. Conflicts and lack of unity among unit owners, as well as, between the owners and their elected/ nominated office bearers is challenging, while lack of a mediator between conflicting factions is a barrier. These will be mitigated by developing appropriate communication materials and sharing habitat study analysis with owners for undertaking collective action

Sustainability
Partnerships: Tell us about your partnerships.

Our main partners are the residents of the society and their office bearers who work with us to identify their society’s problems and detrimental effects. We have access to a pool of consultants whom we call upon in special cases like severe structural distress for preparing technical proposal for repairs or for formation of governance bodies to make them and the residents aware of their legal, financial and technical roles and responsibilities

Closing the Loop
How does your project primarily ensure that feedback delivers results?

Demonstrate how closed feedback loops can make a difference in people’s lives.

Please elaborate on your answer to the above question.

The programme is based on participatory decision making with unit owners in identifying problems, making residents aware of them, helping to find solutions and also implementing these solutions; be it in governance, structural or general repairs or finding solutions to environmental health and hygiene issues. We educate them on benefits of carrying out these solutions and suggest ways to economise and augment resources, like water harvesting, waste water treatment and alternative energy resources. Community feedback is taken and incorporated in the recommended interventions for implementation

Languages: In what languages are you able to read and write fluently?

English.

2nd Round Questions
Thinking about your feedback loop; what information are you trying to get from whom, to whom, and to bring about what change?
What is the purpose of your feedback loop?

If other, please specify
What mediums or mechanisms do you use to collect feedback? (check all that apply)

If other, please specify
Could you briefly describe the way you collect the feedback?
What mechanisms are in place to protect people from retribution?

If other, please specify
What are the immediate benefits or incentives for people to provide feedback?

If other, please specify
How do you ensure new and marginalized voices are heard?

If other, please specify
What are the incentives for the intended recipient to act on the feedback?

If other, please specify
How does the feedback mechanism close the loop with those who provided feedback in the first place?

If other, please specify
How is feedback published/transparent?

If other, please specify
Give two concrete examples of how feedback loops have brought a program or policy more in line with citizens’ desires.
If there was one thing you could change to increase the impact of your feedback loop, what would it be?
What are your biggest challenges or barriers in “closing the feedback loop”?

If other, please specify
Are you aware of The Feedback Store?

What are the main uses you can envision for the Feedback Store?
What is the one thing you would most like to see changed to improve the competition process?
What are you doing to make sure that feedback providers know that they are empowered by the information they can give and that they know exactly what the information they are providing?
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