Conventional building materials are tied to international market forces which often render housing unaffordable to low-income groups and marginalized populations. Furthermore, these materials are climatically inappropriate especially in hot arid regions. Traditional materials sometimes have poor resistance to erosion, are prone to pest/insect infestations, or have poor structural properties rendering multi-storey construction impossible and therefore, housing less affordable. We use local materials available on or near the site for construction including stone and granite, but also mud or clay stabilized with rice straw, iron ash and/or cement dust to improve resistance to erosion and structural properties. New material designs (mixes) are approved by relevant authorities. That coupled with the revival (sometimes modified) traditional building techniques and training of youth in producing and building with these materials gives communities more independence in constructing their own homes and makes these houses more affordable. At minimum, they save transport of material costs, and the overhead of a contractor. Collective housing (3-5 stories sometimes including commercial space) incorporating socially and climatically appropriate design elements and raw or treated local building materials were built by our offices extensively in Algeria and spontaneously imitated by local communities. This methodology is potentially applicable universally applicable wherever conventional building materials do not provide climatically and socially viable and affordable housing.