Affordable housing through community-led, women-managed activity, process and resource building for urban poor

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Affordable housing through community-led, women-managed activity, process and resource building for urban poor

India
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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In Cities/Town of India urban poor or marginalized population lives in Slums/squatters, Where houses are mostly made of either in plastics or thatched mud house which demands repair every year and the repair cost is no less for these temporary sheds. They do not build permanent houses due to two reasons, One being having no entitlement rights, another being no capital available to make one time housing investment or poor purchasing power. The situation is aggravated due to regular natural calamities e.g flood and cyclones. Therefore the Housing shortage is very high for the population who cannot afford to purchase materials and land at a market price for which this experimentation/solution can work. The product/service here is to plan/design through community more specifically by the women to produce affordable housing design, materials and skills to develop their own Building Centers. This is an experimentation done through the poor settlement/ communities in cities and town of Orissa as models for demonstration. This alternative requires skill development training, practice to acquire the trick and build their own Community building Centers. The Housing models are varied in nature as per available resources and materials. This is being experimented for slum dweller families in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Paradeep cities of Orissa. This is more applicable for ground + 1 structure for low-income section of society. This needs to be propagated in tribal & rural context as land entitlement is not much an issue as in case of slum / shack dweller in urban centers. Banks and financial institutions need to be encouraged through the NGO or community federations to invest, link it up at community and city scale. As per land availability Specific Layout planning are adopted in the planning and design. DAWN (Development Alternatives For wider Network) in alliance with it?s partner at national level SPARC, Mumbai works with community federation and women collectives to tra

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Your idea
Focus of activity

Community Involvement

Start Year

2002

Positioning in the mosaic of solutions
Main barrier addressed

Dearth of complementary goods (e.g., land and infrastructure)

Main principle addressed

Enable long-term investment

Mosaic Principle: Community led, partnership based, women managed affordable housing schemes besides enabling long- term investment

Innovation
Description of housing product/service offering:

In Cities/Town of India urban poor or marginalized population lives in Slums/squatters, Where houses are mostly made of either in plastics or thatched mud house which demands repair every year and the repair cost is no less for these temporary sheds. They do not build permanent houses due to two reasons, One being having no entitlement rights, another being no capital available to make one time housing investment or poor purchasing power. The situation is aggravated due to regular natural calamities e.g flood and cyclones. Therefore the Housing shortage is very high for the population who cannot afford to purchase materials and land at a market price for which this experimentation/solution can work. The product/service here is to plan/design through community more specifically by the women to produce affordable housing design, materials and skills to develop their own Building Centers. This is an experimentation done through the poor settlement/ communities in cities and town of Orissa as models for demonstration. This alternative requires skill development training, practice to acquire the trick and build their own Community building Centers. The Housing models are varied in nature as per available resources and materials. This is being experimented for slum dweller families in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Paradeep cities of Orissa. This is more applicable for ground + 1 structure for low-income section of society. This needs to be propagated in tribal & rural context as land entitlement is not much an issue as in case of slum / shack dweller in urban centers. Banks and financial institutions need to be encouraged through the NGO or community federations to invest, link it up at community and city scale. As per land availability Specific Layout planning are adopted in the planning and design. DAWN (Development Alternatives For wider Network) in alliance with it?s partner at national level SPARC, Mumbai works with community federation and women collectives to tra

Description of innovation:

This is more of an approach propagating community led, oriented process of housing solutions which are reflected in all its initiatives from design reflecting community?s general lifestyle, preferences, low cost which are affordable with an element of cross subsidization and skill building and the delivery mechanism completely based on community?s decision of taking into community consideration of many factors e.g. regular savings, repayment habit, emergency etc. What makes it low cost housing solution? This Low cost self help housing models are made low cost due to following technical factors or combination of the following factors: Laddi / Beam Structure: This is a technique of precasting, parabola shaped slabs fixed in pieces along the beams supporting them to make a solid form of roof. This is a low cost technique used in slum context. Orissa Mahila Milan (state branch of national Mahila Milan) borrows this Skill from Mumbai Mahila Milan(network of women collectives organized around daily saving and credit activity at national level). Low construction is also a Mobilization activity for Communities, which is done at daily and regular basis. Common Wall supported by Stair Case: The plots being generally 250-300sqft, have common wall between two houses with combined Staircase, which is also done through pre-casting method making this house having scope for first floor as well as low cost slabs fixed in both side with the support of walls and single bricks in between which also lessens the cost compared to regular staircase. Arch Shaped doors &Windows: This particular technique used to avoid or lessening the use of concrete or wooden frames or lintel, which adds to overall reduction of the cost for the house ?Choukatha?- (door /window frames and fittings): - Cemented frames used with a particular skill developed to reduce the steel or wood cost. Use of Laterite stones are used for foundation: Latrite stones are used for foundation, which lessens use o

Benefits to clients:

The initiative/experimentation of this model is initiated by a grassroots level organization emerged around daily savings activity in the communities, network of which is called Mahila Milan (Women together) and another network of community based federation emerged to do the planning, surveys, and resource building in the communities, towards housing and infrastructure named as Orissa Slum Dwellers Federation(OSDF) functioning as a branch of National Slum Dwellers Federation(NSDF)/Mahila Milan based in Mumbai, India. Under this structures community savings, skill development, enumeration, survey, planning are done along with some affordable housing demonstration integrated with the community-based techniques, innovations and designs explained above. Each community in the process encouraged to act as ?Building Centers? of their own having the skills and materials available, which encourages poor families to dream for a house and better living. Where you need least of skilled labourer and engineer except for very few areas and days. So initiative is completely meant for those who are poorest of the poor in real sense.

Key operational partnerships:

The community networks in the form of Mahila Milan and federation becomes the primary partner in the model supported and facilitated by the concerned NGO and Government. Land department of Government provides land with nil or nominal cost, housing department cross subsidizes the low cost housing section, ULB (urban local bodies shares cost of basic infrastructure and Central Government provides large chunk of total cost as subsidy for both infrastructure and housing. NGO supports in ensuring people process, documentation, and negotiation. The NGO could sometimes facilitate access to loan for the beneficiary, their repayment and takes the responsibility of community centric maintenance and management. External donors share the burden of NGO in operational, documentation and some of model demonstration costs.

Impact
Financial model:

Present innovation is actually based on community cum NGO support with nominally charged land by Government. This is to mobilize other stakeholders to come forward and link up these efforts on a continual basis with a centrally sponsored scheme of Government of India meant for poorer communities. This scheme should be substantiated with communities and beneficiary savings formed under Urban Poor?s fund, which actually is sponsoring the demonstration project so far, which needs to be tagged with mainstream Central Government Schemes for which negotiation is going on and projects are in pipeline needs time and capacity building at each level to scale it up. Mechanism is already in place but still evolving to involve many more partners to address such on extensive issue.

Costs as percentage of income:

60

Financing:

Present innovation is actually based on community cum NGO support with nominally charged land by Government. This is to mobilize other stakeholders to come forward and link up these efforts with a centrally sponsored scheme of Government of India meant for poorer communities. This scheme should be substantiated with communities and beneficiaries savings formed under Urban Poor?s fund, which actually is sponsoring the demonstration project so far, which needs to be tagged with mainstream Central Government Schemes for which negotiation is going on and projects are being framed to make them sustainable. There is two type of schemes involved or being emerged: The total cost of the house comes around Rs.40000/- to 45000/- (Year 05) by self-help mechanism per unit in which 50% of the total c

Effectiveness:

<ul><li class="entry-label">Project outcomes: <span class="entry-text">There are houses/toilets built having another hundred?s seeking loan & planning for the purpose to build such type of houses. Housing is not a business, rather to encourage alternative solution for affordable housing and mobilizing instrument to create social and technical capital in form of community based women centric Building Center. This experimentation is also providing an alternative income generation skills for community to explore demands and feed middle class or upper class population for their garages and outhouses.</span></li><li class="entry-label">Number of clients in past year: <span class="entry-text">There are about 50 houses built having another hundred?s seeking loan & planning for the purpose to build such type of houses besides the number towards up gradation of house/toilets taking help of these designs/skills.</span></li><li class="entry-label">Percentage of clients that are poor or marginalized: <span class="entry-text">100</span></li><li class="entry-label">Potential demand: <span class="entry-text">This demonstration of affordable housing solution actually meant for approximate 30% of poor living in slums and squatters or in rural and tribal belts for whom we are actively working as an NGO, the magnitude of which is in million if principles of both self-help housing technology and commercially fast-moving construction techniques adopted in combination</span></li></ul>

Scaling up strategy:
Stage of the initiative:

<i>Start Up</i> stage.

Expansion plan:

We anticipate expansion, through more and more exchanges and exposures to these skills. There are already 10000 members in cities and towns of eastern India under the fold of Mahila Milan- the network of women collectives. This is more a community process building activity of the population who cannot access any regular means of house financing, used more as a mechanism for grassroots development on a long-term basis.

Origin of the initiative:

It was originated from the effort by DAWN (Development Alternatives For Wider Network) an NGO active in eastern states of India, invited a team of federations of NSDF (National Slum Dwellers Federation) to assist women of poor urban settlements in forming groups and federations on taking up savings, information building actions and structures. These activities are reflected in form of models, demonstrations housing and sanitation solutions through community design/planning development processes.