Family Housing Expansion Project (Minneapolis)

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Family Housing Expansion Project (Minneapolis)

Mismatches Price Diversity Vulnerable groups
Policies and regulations Local policies Planning
Urban Design Environments Quality Liveability Inclusion
Promotion and production Public promotion

Main objectives of the project

In 2021, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) faced a substantial waitlist of more than 8,000 families seeking affordable housing. To meet the demand for two and three-bedroom units, MPHA launched the Family Housing Expansion Project. This initiative involves constructing 84 new deeply affordable housing units spread across residential neighborhoods in Minneapolis. The project capitalizes on the Minneapolis City Council's decision to eliminate single-family zoning, as outlined in the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan. By replacing single-family or duplex homes, MPHA aims to bolster the supply of missing middle housing and affordable units, aligning with the goals of the Comprehensive Plan. The Family Housing Expansion Project utilizes modular construction techniques to build 16 small multifamily buildings. Each building comprises four to six two or three-bedroom units. Of these units, 64 are designated for households earning at or below 30 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), while the remaining 20 units cater to residents with incomes up to 60 percent of AMI, helping to mitigate displacement. Completion of the buildings is anticipated by late summer 2023.

Date

  • 2023: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Promotor: Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA)
  • Architect: DJR
  • Constructor: Frerichs Construction
  • Constructor: RISE Modular

Location

Continent: North America
Country/Region: Minneapolis [Saint Paul], United States of America

Description

Minneapolis has adopted a bold approach to realize its housing objectives under the Minneapolis 2040 plan, envisioning a city with increased affordability and density. An innovative measure taken involves the elimination of single-family zoning, creating opportunities for constructing new affordable housing in areas previously designated for single-family residences. However, the pressing need to address the lengthy waitlist for public or affordable housing prompted swift action. In response, the Family Housing Expansion Project was initiated.

The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) focused its strategy for this project on achieving efficiency and speed while adhering to stringent housing quality standards. To execute this strategy, MPHA collaborated with its procurement office to issue a two-part Request for Proposals (RFP) for both a project design team and a construction team.

Following the submission and evaluation of initial proposals, MPHA selected the three highest-ranking teams, encompassing both traditional and modular construction methods, to develop schematic designs and cost estimates. This process enabled a comparative analysis between modular and traditional construction methods, revealing that modular construction best aligned with the project's scattered-site approach and objectives.

Modular construction was projected to be 33 percent faster than traditional methods, minimizing disruptions for tenants. Additionally, it proved to be 13 to 22 percent less expensive and generated less waste. Given these advantages, MPHA chose a team comprising modular manufacturer RISE Modular, general contractor Frerichs Construction, and architecture and interior design firm DJR. Together, MPHA and its chosen team evaluated 22 potential sites throughout the city for new housing. Factors such as zoning constraints, parking availability, and suitability for modular construction were considered in selecting the most viable sites. Ultimately, 16 sites were chosen for the development of small apartment buildings featuring two or three-bedroom units.

Community engagement was a key aspect of the project, with MPHA actively involving neighborhood groups and residents in the design and construction processes. Meetings were held with residents impacted by the project, allowing them to provide feedback and select interior finishes for the units. Concerns raised by stakeholders, such as parking availability and the impact of construction on existing residents, were addressed by the project team. Measures were taken to maximize off-street parking and provide relocation benefits to temporarily displaced residents. Furthermore, existing tenants were assured the right to return to a new unit once completed.

Of the 84 units in the Family Housing Expansion Project, 16 will be accessible units, and 17 will cater to high-priority homelessness cases with services funded by Hennepin County. Long-term affordability will be ensured through project-based vouchers, with residents paying 30 percent of their incomes for the units.

Authors:

The Arroyo, Santa Monica

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The Arroyo, Santa Monica

Mismatches Location Functional adequacy Diversity Climate change
Policies and regulations Local policies Planning
Financing Financial actors
Urban Design Environments Quality Liveability
Promotion and production Private promotion

Main objectives of the project

Santa Monica's efforts to tackle its housing crisis and mitigate climate change converge in projects like the Arroyo. The city's commitment to affordable housing is evident in its mandate to create over a thousand new units annually, with a focus on affordability. The Arroyo exemplifies this mission, providing 64 units tailored to different income levels and incorporating sustainable design elements like photovoltaic cells and natural ventilation. Its recognition with prestigious awards like the 2020 LEED Homes award demonstrates its success in marrying affordability with environmental responsibility, serving as a model for future developments amidst California's dual challenges of housing and climate.

Date

  • 2019: Construction
  • 2020: Ganador

Stakeholders

  • Promotor: Community Corp.
  • Constructor: Benchmark Contractors
  • Architect: Koning Eizenberg Architecture
  • John Labib + Associates

Location

Continent: North America
Country/Region: Los Angeles, United States of America

Description

The affordable housing crisis in Santa Monica mirrors that of California as a whole, with over half of households spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent. The city also faces the daunting task of meeting the goals set in the 2021 regional housing needs allocation (RHNA): planning for an average of 1,109 new housing units annually for the next 8 years, with over two-thirds of them designated as affordable. This year's allocation represents a substantial increase compared to the previous RHNA cycle. To tackle this challenge, Santa Monica has implemented aggressive measures, including inclusionary housing (IH) regulations, to encourage the development of affordable housing units. Simultaneously, the city grapples with the climate crisis, experiencing higher average temperatures and prolonged droughts. In response, Santa Monica devised its 2019 Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, incorporating strategies to achieve carbon neutrality in buildings. Recent housing projects in the city, such as the 64-unit Arroyo developed by the Community Corporation of Santa Monica, epitomize this dual focus on sustainability and affordability.

The Arroyo, a five-story building featuring two parallel wings connected by bridges on each floor, boasts a central courtyard that follows the path of the former arroyo, now replaced by a stormwater drain. This courtyard extends into a basketball half-court and picnic area with covered activity space. Additionally, indoor spaces cater to residents' needs, providing a vibrant community atmosphere. Two community rooms host various free programs, including fitness classes, financial management courses, and computer training sessions. Tailored programs for younger residents, such as afterschool homework assistance and college readiness courses, further enrich the community experience.

The genesis of the Arroyo lies in the city's housing and planning regulations applied to 500 Broadway, a downtown development proposed by DK Broadway in 2013. Subject to city requirements mandating affordable units or contributions towards affordable housing elsewhere, DK Broadway opted to provide a site for affordable housing a few blocks away, subsequently transferred to the Community Corporation. The financial backing, including low-income housing tax credits and loans from Bank of America, facilitated the Arroyo's development without city or state funding.

Sustainable design features are integral to the Arroyo's ethos. Natural airflow facilitated by the courtyard, bridges, and open-air corridors promotes ventilation and cooling without increasing energy demand. Photovoltaic cells and solar water heating panels harness Southern California's abundant sunshine, while high-albedo roofs and window shades mitigate excessive sun exposure. Proximity to amenities and a Metro light rail station encourages car-free living, supported by onsite bicycle parking and electric vehicle chargers. These sustainable elements, coupled with affordability, earned the Arroyo recognition, including a 2020 LEED Homes award from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Arroyo's accolades extend beyond sustainability, with awards such as the AIA National Housing Award (2021) and the Jorn Utzon Award (2020) underscoring its architectural and societal significance.

Authors:

Cireres

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Cireres

Mismatches Financing Functional adequacy Services Cultural suitability Diversity Climate change
Policies and regulations Local policies Land Public-private initiatives
Financing Financial actors
Urban Design Environments Quality Liveability
Promotion and production Public-private partnerships Participatory processes Self-management Self-promotion Cooperatives
Ownership and tenure Shared ownership Protection of social housing Land ownership

Main objectives of the project

Cireres is a housing project whose goal is to build a cooperative housing that avoids speculation and the market dynamics. Thanks to a leasing of public land, a group of people in search of affordable housing could form a community with sustainable and top-tier housing units.

Date

  • 2022: Ganador
  • 2022: Construction
  • 2017: En proceso

Stakeholders

  • Promotor: SostreCivic (Coopertaiva Cireres)
  • Promotor: Barcelona City Hall
  • Constructor: La Constructiva
  • Architect: CelObert
  • Matriu
  • Col·lectiu Ronda
  • Fiare
  • Arç

Location

Continent: Europe
City: Barcelona
Country/Region: Barcelona, Spain

Description

Cireres is located in Roquetes, a popular neighborhood of Barcelona, with significant levels of vulnerability. This neighborhood has undergone considerable urban improvement since the 1990s. Originally, it was formed as a neighborhood of informal housing. Over the years, these dwellings have been integrated into the urban fabric and living conditions have improved. Today, the neighborhood faces new challenges. Mainly, housing speculation has entered fully into the daily life of the neighbors. For this reason, an investment in social housing is necessary. However, social housing is often expensive for the administration and has no roots in the neighborhood.

Cireres wants to solve the above problems. The project follows the logic of cooperative housing in lease of use. The public administration leases a municipal lot to a cooperative for a long period of time. In exchange, the cooperative builds the building and its members have the right to use the housing. In this way, the municipality does not lose public land for affordable housing. On the other hand, tenants have secure tenure and are part of a larger community integrated into the neighborhood, with the agency to build and decide on their project. To move in, each cohabitation unit has had to make an initial returnable capital contribution and then monthly payments, including services and utilities, which are below city rents.

Cireres also goes a step further. The objective is to generate a community that can build the entire project and live thereafter from the social and solidarity economy, not linked to the speculative market. Thus, the financing comes from Fiare, an ethical bank. The insurance company, the construction company, the management company... and all the agents involved are non-profit cooperatives. In this way, the value of use is put in front of the value of exchange, demonstrating another way to build affordable housing. In addition, the project includes a social economat, a working cooperative of residents dedicated to the trade of agro-ecological products.

The community life of Cireres is structured in an assembly, linked to the realities of the neighborhood and the residents. Its 32 dwellings are organized around common spaces. Thus, the idea is to be a single house, erasing the distance between the public and the private, integrating community life in the residence. For example, the houses are structured around a landing where neighbors can go out to hang the laundry, play... There are also communal indoor spaces. The communal project has an ideology that everyone must respect, the framework from which the activities, complicities and constructions of relationships, group and building are developed.

The site is a plot of 428 m2 located in the street Pla dels Cirerers, 2-4, We wanted to have shared spaces of quality, which allow to release functions of the interior of the private spaces to give them to the community, so 190m2 of buildability of the site are no longer exhausted by the commitment to make community spaces. We have built reduced private living spaces (50 m2 on average), which are compensated by 771 m2 of space for community use. The material used in Cirerers is mainly wood, and also lime mortar on the facades and plasterboard in the interiors. All of them are biodegradable materials with a low ecological footprint, since their production, transport and recycling involve very low CO2 emissions.

The building has won several awards: Advanced Architecture Awards 2022 in the Sustainability category - REBUILD, European Social Innovation Competition (EUSIC) and finalist of the MINI Design Awards 2022 - Madrid Design Festival.

Authors:

La Balma

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La Balma

Mismatches Location Financing Functional adequacy Cultural suitability Diversity Vulnerable groups New family structures
Policies and regulations Local policies Land Governance Public-private initiatives Participatory processes
Financing Financial actors
Urban Design Quality Liveability
Promotion and production Public-private partnerships Participatory processes Self-management Self-promotion Cooperatives
Ownership and tenure Shared ownership Rental and temporary tenure Protection of social housing Land ownership Public-private partnerships

Main objectives of the project

La Balma is a housing cooperative on public land. Through a system of rights on land ("cesión de uso"), the municipality leases the land for a long period of time. In exchange, a cooperative of people who meet the requirements to build social housing builds their cooperative. About thirty people live in La Balma, with 20 cohabitation units.

Date

  • 2021: Construction
  • 2017: En proceso
  • 2016: Ganador

Stakeholders

  • Promotor: Sostre Civic (Coopertiva La Balma)
  • Architect: La Boqueria
  • Architect: LaCol
  • Constructor: La Constructiva SCCL
  • Constructor: Arkenova
  • Barcelona City Hall
  • Fiare Banca Ètica
  • Òmnium Cultural
  • Coop57
  • Punt de referència

Location

Continent: Europe
City: Barcelona
Country/Region: Barcelona, Spain

Description

La Balma is located in the Poblenou neighborhood of Barcelona. The neighborhood is an old industrial center of the city, which in recent years has become the first district of technological innovation in the country. It is called 22@. This project was intended to generate a technological district while maintaining the residential-industrial mix characteristic of the neighborhood. The reality has been more complex. The neighborhood has suffered a clear process of gentrification. Housing prices have skyrocketed and many of the traditional premises are no longer there. Thus, one challenge is to maintain a population involved in the neighborhood and that can afford to live in it.

It is from this logic that La Balma was born, a cooperative housing made on public land. Being part of the cooperative requires an initial contribution and the payment of monthly installments that are derived from the costs of acquisition, maintenance and operation of the cooperative housing project, and not from the situation of the real estate market. Thus, one does not acquire the land nor does one acquire the housing. Being part of the cooperative you have the right of use (or the transfer of use) for a long or lifetime period, without real estate market rises and without possible speculation. In this way, the municipality does not lose public land for affordable housing, only leases it without the cost of building social housing. On the other hand, tenants have a secure tenure and are part of a larger community integrated into the neighborhood, with the agency to build and decide on their project. To move in, each cohabitation unit has had to make an initial returnable capital contribution of between €28,000 and €38,000. The monthly payments, which include services and utilities, range from €512 to €800 per dwelling. The financing of these amounts has been made possible thanks to Fiare, an ethical and community bank.

The community at La Balma is heterogeneous and intergenerational. There are 30 people living in 20 units. We find single-parent families, couples, couples with children, cohabitant adults and individual units (from young people to retired people). Many of these people are lifelong residents of Poblenou. In fact, the community was formed prior to construction, participating in all phases of the project, from design to move-in. It also includes a pioneering social project. One of the homes is destined for two young people in exile, thanks to a joint program with Punt de Referència, an organization that works to promote the emancipation of these young people in vulnerable situations, and financed by the Libres Project (Coop57, Òmnium Cultural and ECAS). In addition, these young people participated in the entire design process of the project and participate in the democratic management of the building. To promote the interrelationship with the neighborhood, we also have a first floor space shared with associations and individuals to promote their projects. On the other hand, we are committed to ecological consumption, linking the cooperative with consumer cooperatives in the surrounding area and to self-production with vegetable gardens on the roof.

As far as the building is concerned, it has flexible and multipurpose spaces that evolve with the group according to the changes of both the living units and the people who will inhabit the building: incorporation of new members, births, growth processes of children-adolescents, aging processes of adults ... Thus, the typologies start from a basic module of 50m2 and from the annexation of living units of 16m2 (considered common space for private use in legal terms) allow to grow and shrink the houses. These units are ceded by the cooperative to the family units that need them at any given moment, therefore, it becomes a mechanism to manage changes as an alternative to rotation. This proposal is viable due to the fact that the management of the building is the responsibility of the community itself. The dwellings reduce their surface area (5-10%) to share services such as laundry, study, guest rooms or storage rooms, thus allowing that the collectivization does not involve a cost overrun, but rather the opposite, a saving and a gain in surface area and quality of life.

The architectural project has 225m2 of interior area destined to communal spaces, plus semi-exterior and exterior areas, where we find the following uses: living room - dining room, multipurpose room, library and work space, a laundry per floor, health and care space connected with auxiliary rooms, guest rooms, common and individual storage per floor, equipped deck and outdoor living area, bicycle parking, tool space and workshop area.

In 2016 the competition for the construction was won and in 2021 the building was move-in ready.

Authors:

Villa 20 urbanization

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Villa 20 urbanization

Mismatches Segregation Vulnerable groups
Urban Design Services and infrastructure Participatory processes
Promotion and production Participatory processes Favelas/Slums

Main objectives of the project

The city of Buenos Aires has witnessed a rise in population within informal settlements, with over 300,000 people, constituting 10% of the city's population, residing in such areas. Focused on enhancing the lives of slum dwellers in Villa 20, located in the Lugano district, this initiative prioritizes participatory engagement with the community. Its core objectives include providing affordable housing solutions and preventing evictions.

Date

  • 2015: Implementation

Stakeholders

  • Buenos Aires (Gobierno Ciudad Aitónoma)
  • Promotor: Instituto de Vivienda de la Ciudad (IVC)
  • Coaliciones Urbanas Transformadoras

Location

Continent: South America
City: Buenos Aires
Country/Region: Argentina, Buenos Aires

Description

Villa 20 is an informal settlement that begin in 1948. With the first Peronist government, in the surroundings social housing was built. This started an informal urbanization of the area. In the 70s, the military dictatorship tried to straighten out the neighborhood. Yet, people rebuilt it and, today, nearly 30.000 people live there. The vast majority are tenants and young people.

In some situations the solution to informal settlements in process of reurbanization are to live behind the old buildings and destroy the area in order to, then, rebuilt it, there was a need to a new approach. The neighborhood was in dire need of intervention. Thus, rather than a public-led initiative, the city of Buenos Aires started a participative project in order to urbanize the settlement. By doing so, they protected the residents and negotiate with them, block by block, how the new urbanization must be performed. Approaching the redevelopment of teh area involved a double logic: a processual logic of the project (the project is modified as the process progresses); and at the same time a projectual logic of the process (the process is modified as the project is defined) of socio-spatial intervention. This open system of process-project applied to planning allows for a complex approach that is continuously adapted to the particular situation of the neighborhood and aims to achieve the optimization of results through community consensus in decision-making. In this sense, the generation of spaces for participation in the different stages of the intervention is a central axis to guarantee both the exercise of rights and the sustainability of large-scale and long-term processes.

To reach this goal, the city focused on engaging in the following actions: Creating a participatory slum upgrading process, maintaining and formalizing home-ownership in public housing units, improving the housing market by enabling wider homeownership, making rental housing better available.

Ultimately the project proved to be good for constructing social capital and promoting decision-making among local stakeholders. It initiated a rethinking of the relationship between government and social institutions while strengthening ties between different ministries, helping the ongoing challenges and complexities of slums and the re-urbanization processes.

Despite not being a policy focused only in affordable housing, the participatory nature of the project allowed to act on the urbanization considering the needs of its residents. The result is, then, the protection of social housing units, the construction of new houses for a mixed community and the improvement in housing comfort and public space.

Authors:

Affordable Housing for All - Budapest

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Affordable Housing for All - Budapest

Mismatches Diversity Vulnerable groups Vacant housing
Promotion and production Public promotion Public-private partnerships
Ownership and tenure Shared ownership Public-private partnerships

Main objectives of the project

AHA Budapest strives to achieve 'Affordable Housing for All' by employing an integrated strategy that not only boosts the availability of affordable housing but also introduces innovative solutions to assist individuals vulnerable to housing insecurity. A key aspect involves repurposing an unutilized non-residential public structure into energy-efficient social housing. Concurrently, a data-driven early detection system is being implemented to pinpoint households encountering challenges such as rental arrears and energy-related financial strain. This facilitates the testing of new support services, fostering extensive collaboration among public utilities, social service entities, and municipal districts.

Date

  • 2021: En proceso

Stakeholders

  • Promotor: Budapest Municipality
  • Budapest Brand Nonprofit Plc
  • Metropolitan Research Institute
  • Architect: Popcode Developments Ltd
  • Architect: NART Architects Studio Llc
  • From Streets to Homes! Association
  • Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre Foundation
  • Energiaklub Association
  • European Urban Initiative

Location

Continent: Europe
Country/Region: Budapest, Hungary

Description

Like numerous cities across Europe, Budapest grapples with an energy crisis that exacerbates an ongoing housing affordability dilemma, exposing new social groups to energy poverty and housing insecurity. Moreover, the city's social housing sector has long been marginalized, shrinking, and dilapidated. To confront this challenge, Budapest aspires to cultivate a more appealing, resilient, and inclusive social housing system.

AHA endeavors to craft an integrated service model that encompasses repurposing an idle non-residential public edifice into nearly zero-energy social housing, alongside implementing a distinctive early warning system to pinpoint and aid households vulnerable to energy poverty and housing exclusion. An experimental support scheme advocates for flexible housing options, such as cohabitation and flat exchange arrangements for at-risk households. For instance, homeowners residing in oversized dwellings can share their space with those unable to afford their own homes. Additionally, a revolving fund is being piloted to provide retrofitting grants with a focus on energy efficiency.

The engagement of tenants and other local residents is actively encouraged, notably through the inclusive design of low-cost, visually appealing modular interiors intended for the new social housing inventory.

Ultimately, AHA aims to showcase a scalable solution for addressing the challenges of energy poverty and housing exclusion, thereby repositioning social housing as a financially stable, environmentally friendly, and aesthetically pleasing sector. The AHA consortium, along with its extensive partnership, encompasses a diverse array of stakeholders, including academic institutions, professional NGOs, and private entities (such as real estate firms and banks), with the aim of fostering progressive housing initiatives that appeal to private investors.

The AHA project is still an ongoing project, financed by the European Urban Initiative, being one of their selected projects. The ERDF budget is €4,985,110.40

Authors:

Kamgaar Putala resettlement: from a slum to cooperative housing

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Kamgaar Putala resettlement: from a slum to cooperative housing

Mismatches Location Financing Vulnerable groups Climate change
Policies and regulations National policies Local policies Planning Evictions
Promotion and production Participatory processes Self-management Cooperatives Favelas/Slums
Ownership and tenure Shared ownership Land ownership

Main objectives of the project

In the city of Pune, 176 impoverished squatters residing along the riverside seized upon a devastating flood crisis as a catalyst to terminate their prolonged existence in perilous and unsanitary conditions along the banks of the Mutha River. Collaborating with a local non-governmental organization (NGO) named Shelter Associates, they mobilized their efforts, initiated savings, conducted a comprehensive community survey, scouted for alternative land options, and eventually identified a new parcel of land where they obtained authorization to establish their own secure cooperative housing. With robust support from their partnering NGO, the municipal government, and a state-level social housing subsidy scheme, they embarked on the development of their new permanent housing option, ensuring improved living conditions and security for themselves.

Date

  • 2003: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Promotor: Shelter Associates
  • Promotor: Baandhani
  • Pune Municipal Corporation
  • National Slum Dwellers Federation (India)
  • Mahila Milan

Location

Continent: Asia
Country/Region: India, Pune

Description

In Indian cities, informal settlements often occupy hazardous and unsuitable land, rendering them highly susceptible to various natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, landslides, and epidemics. Coupled with challenges like overcrowding, tenure insecurity, lack of basic services, and pervasive poverty, these settlements face compounded vulnerabilities. Kamgaar Putala, a substantial riverside settlement situated along the Mutha River in Pune, stands as one of the city's oldest informal settlements. During the monsoon season, the rising water levels in the river frequently inundate the settlement's makeshift huts, causing significant hardships for its residents. In 1997, Pune encountered one of its most severe floods since 1961, severely impacting Kamgaar Putala and five other riverside slums. The calamity submerged 379 houses for a duration of fifteen days, with 150 houses being completely destroyed. Concurrently, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had initiated plans to widen the Sangam Bridge, adjacent to Kamgaar Putala, a project poised to displace a substantial portion of the riverside community. In light of these successive adversities, the prospect of residents continuing to inhabit Kamgaar Putala appeared increasingly untenable.

Meanwhile, the State Government had been exerting pressure on the PMC to devise a resettlement plan for individuals affected by disasters and development projects within the city. Consequently, in 1998, a year post-floods, the PMC enlisted the assistance of Shelter Associates (SA), a local NGO, to conduct detailed surveys across six riverside slums to ascertain the number of households directly impacted by the floods. Notably, this survey was conducted by the slum dwellers themselves, facilitated by Mahila Milan women's savings collectives, the National Slum Dwellers Federation, and the Mumbai-based NGO SPARC, rather than by professionals. The survey served as a pivotal platform for SA to initiate dialogue between the affected communities and city authorities, fostering collaborative efforts to formulate a resettlement strategy.

Throughout the survey process, SA and Mahila Milan organized meetings with residents, encouraging their engagement in federation activities. Residents were motivated to establish crisis savings groups to prepare for future relocations. Subsequently, Shelter Associates pursued the project independently and played a pivotal role in the formation of a new federation of the poor in Kamgaar Putala, named Baandhani, symbolizing unity in the local Marathi language. Consisting of 160 families, Baandhani collectively advocated for relocation to a safer locale away from the river, aspiring for secure homeownership.

Crisis savings groups were established, numerous meetings were convened, and community issues were deliberated upon. Concurrently, the women of Baandhani initiated housing savings groups to accumulate funds for down payments on housing loans. Negotiations to identify a relocation site commenced in 2003, alongside the development of resettlement strategies by Baandhani.

As land search and negotiations progressed, Shelter Associates and Baandhani collaborated to enhance living conditions in Kamgaar Putala post-floods. In 1999, when the PMC promoted vermiculture and composting to enhance waste management, Baandhani and SA enthusiastically embraced these ideas, implementing composting and vermiculture initiatives in Kamgaar Putala and other slums with PMC support. These community-managed environmental endeavors not only garnered praise from city authorities but also served as income-generating activities for women's savings groups, thereby elevating the profile of community collectives in poor settlements.

Regarding the new housing scheme, a survey of the old riverside slum in Kamgaar Putala revealed that approximately 93% of families were structure owners, possessing documentation attesting to their residence in the slum for at least 23 years, which rendered them legally eligible for state-supported resettlement post-floods. To formalize their relocation, the Kamgaar Putala community opted to organize themselves into four groups, each consisting of 40-45 families, and formally register as cooperative housing societies. These cooperative housing societies would then become legal lease-holders of the new land in Hadapsar, overseeing housing loans and repayments. Although the four cooperative housing societies were registered in January 2003, the PMC's progress in finalizing formal lease contracts with the four cooperatives has been sluggish. Nonetheless, the construction of new housing in Hadapsar was completed, and residents began occupying their flats in 2005. However, as of May 2020, the formal lease agreements for the land remained pending, and families had yet to receive ownership documents for their apartments.

The new land, spanning 5,053 square meters in the industrial suburb of Hadapsar, approximately 8 kilometers away from the original riverside slum, had been designated in Pune's development plan for "Economically Weaker Section" (EWS) resettlement housing. Under the government's VAMBAY Scheme, utilizing MHADA grant funding, the resettlement project was successfully completed and fully occupied, mitigating concerns of eviction for members of the four cooperative housing societies.

The architects at Shelter Associates collaborated with the Kamgaar Putala community to design the layout and buildings, resulting in 176 apartments. Contrary to the prevalent notion in India that high-density housing for the poor necessitates high-rise blocks, the project in Hadapsar showcased a low-rise, high-density housing solution devoid of elevators, which proved conducive for low-income families. The housing complex in Hadapsar featured two-story blocks, each housing eight apartments, arranged around a central courtyard. The design incorporated smaller courtyards facilitating access to ground floor apartments and staircases leading to upper-floor units, providing ample play spaces for children and ensuring adequate daylight and ventilation in each unit.

The apartment unit's size and design were meticulously tailored by Shelter Associates to meet budget constraints, with each unit spanning 200 square feet, divided into two 10x10 feet bays. Each unit comprised a toilet, bathing area, kitchen, and multipurpose living-dining-sleeping area. Notably, one bay featured a higher ceiling height, accommodating the construction of an internal loft for additional space in the future. With the inclusion of the loft, the total living area per apartment amounted to 300 square feet.

Despite initial challenges, the success of the Kamgaar Putala resettlement project is evident from the fact that after sixteen years, not a single resident has opted to sell their property and relocate. Residents' active involvement in all facets of the project planning and implementation engendered several intangible impacts. Notably, a profound sense of ownership has permeated the community, as residents perceive their homes as both a financial and spiritual investment. Moreover, the project fostered a cohesive sense of community, bolstered by active social networks. The apartment design prioritized privacy while fostering spaces for neighborly interaction, a feature often lacking in high-rise slum rehabilitation schemes. Lastly, the provision of solid, flood-proof housing has not only engendered a newfound sense of security but has also significantly improved residents' health and well-being.

What is worth mentioning is how the project took a natural disaster as an opportunity to go from an informal settlement, without proper urbanization, to guaranteeing a democratic social housing option, led by the residents. Also of the role of women, who led the savings for the project and its implementation.

Authors:

Poo Poh Project

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Poo Poh Project

Mismatches Location Price Financing Functional adequacy Cultural suitability Vulnerable groups Demographic/Urban growth
Policies and regulations National policies Local policies Governance Participatory processes
Financing Public funding Demand subsidies Savings systems Public-private collaboration
Urban Design Modelos De Ciudad Services and infrastructure Environments Liveability
Promotion and production Public-private partnerships Self-management Self-promotion Self-construction Cooperatives Favelas/Slums

Main objectives of the project

The community of Poo Poh is formed by 112 families originating from three previous squatter areas within the city. Following the establishment of a savings group and the registration of their multicommunity housing cooperative, they embarked on a quest for new land. Negotiating a favorable price, they collectively purchased the land through their cooperative. This endeavor was part of a broader initiative aimed at securing land and housing for underprivileged families across Pattani. This initiative involved a citywide process of land readjustment and settlement de-densification, facilitating the relocation of some families to new land while allowing others to improve their existing housing conditions.

Date

  • 2005: En proceso
  • 2007: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Constructor: Poo Poh Coopertaives
  • Promotor: Community Organizations Development Institute (CODI)

Location

Continent: Asia
Country/Region: Pattani, Thailand

Description

Situated on the Gulf of Thailand, the provincial capital of Pattani boasts a rich history as a trading hub spanning over a millennium. Formerly the nucleus of an autonomous Malay principality encompassing Yala and Narathiwat Provinces, Pattani pioneered international trade with the Portuguese in the 16th century, followed by engagements with the Japanese, Dutch, and English in the 17th century. Today, it stands as a vibrant city characterized by ancient mosques, thriving fishing communities, and bustling rubber trade, with a predominantly Malay-speaking Muslim population of approximately 45,000 individuals.

In addressing the pressing issues surrounding settlements and housing, prior approaches often imposed resettlement without considering the agency of affected communities. However, a pivotal shift occurred thanks to the intervention of a crucial organization. The Community Organizations Development Institute (CODI), operating under the Thai Government's Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, emerged as a catalyst for change. CODI's core mission revolves around empowering communities and their organizations, recognizing them as pivotal agents of transformation in both urban and rural settings. Within this narrative, two flagship programs spearheaded by CODI played a central role.

The trajectory of housing and community development in Pattani underwent a significant transformation with the intervention of the "Livable Cities" program in 2003. This initiative played a pivotal role in networking informal settlements across Pattani, fostering collaboration with civil society groups and religious organizations to address various facets of urban life, such as environmental sustainability, healthcare, and alternative energy. Noteworthy outcomes included annual canal-cleaning events and the inaugural citywide survey on urban poverty and housing challenges, revealing that approximately 30% of the city's populace (3,895 households, comprising roughly 12,500 individuals) resided in 16 informal settlements characterized by congested and dilapidated conditions, lacking secure tenure.

In addition to the Livable Cities program, the Baan Mankong Program emerged as a linchpin in CODI's repertoire, launched in 2003 to tackle housing issues confronting the nation's most economically disadvantaged citizens. This initiative directed government funds, in the form of infrastructure subsidies and soft housing loans, directly to impoverished communities, enabling them to spearhead improvements encompassing housing, environmental conditions, basic services, and tenure security. Departing from conventional approaches that delivered housing units to individual families, the Baan Mankong Program empowered Thailand's informal communities to drive a people-centric, citywide process aimed at devising comprehensive solutions to land and housing challenges in urban areas.

With support from the Baan Mankong Program, the community network leveraged data from the citywide survey to formulate plans for their inaugural three housing projects. The survey underscored the density of informal settlements in Pattani, highlighting the plight of joint-family households grappling with overcrowded and uncomfortable living conditions. Recognizing the challenges posed by dense settlements, the community opted to initiate resettlement projects to alleviate congestion and enhance living standards. This strategic pivot towards land readjustment was facilitated by the relatively affordable land prices in Pattani amid years of civil unrest and economic stagnation. Poo Poh emerged as the pioneering resettlement project within the city.

Comprising families from three overcrowded squatter settlements, the Poo Poh project witnessed the formation of a robust multi-community housing cooperative, which identified and acquired a cost-effective parcel of private land spanning 3.14 hectares for their new housing endeavor. Notably, a team of three young Thai community architects played a pivotal role in collaborating with the community to craft an aesthetically pleasing layout plan for the new development. In this collaborative process, the community's social dynamics, characterized by bonds of friendship and kinship, informed the spatial arrangement of houses clustered around communal open spaces. Central to the community layout were a mosque and expansive public garden, occupying 56% and 44% of the land, respectively, dedicated to housing plots, public spaces, roads, and community facilities. The exhaustive six-month process of developing the citywide housing strategy and spearheading the inaugural community housing project at Poo Poh engendered a sense of camaraderie and unity among the participating families through spirited planning workshops.

A distinctive aspect of the Poo Poh narrative was the segmentation of planning workshops into separate sessions for men and women, reflecting the entrenched gender roles prevalent in traditional Malay Muslim communities. Initially, joint workshops yielded limited engagement from women, prompting a strategic shift towards segregated sessions. This approach proved instrumental in amplifying women's voices, with their insights driving key aspects of the community's layout plan. Notably, women advocated for the integration of smaller "pocket parks" throughout the community to facilitate supervised play for children, challenging conventional notions proposed by men. This collaborative endeavor not only yielded a more inclusive and functional community layout but also empowered women to assert their ideas and aspirations within the broader community discourse.

Drawing from lessons learned in prior housing projects in southern Thailand, the architects adopted a proactive approach by prioritizing the completion of infrastructure before commencing house construction. This strategic sequence not only ensured the holistic development of the community but also fostered a sense of collective ownership and camaraderie among residents. Notably, community members actively participated in house construction, organized into clusters of six to ten households, wherein they jointly managed construction activities and finances. The formation of a community committee, comprising representatives from each cluster, further facilitated decentralized decision-making and project management. Embracing diverse approaches to construction management, some clusters enlisted local contractors, while others undertook self-managed construction processes, resulting in distinct architectural expressions across the community.

Harnessing the robust social capital inherent within these communities, the project at Poo Poh exemplified the transformative potential of grassroots mobilization, fostering cohesion and cooperative spirit while securing affordable land without compromising resident agency. Moreover, the project served as a catalyst for gender empowerment, amplifying women's voices and fostering their leadership roles not only within the project but also within the broader community fabric.

Authors:

314 Houses in Bhuj - Bhimrao Nagar, Ramdev Nagar & GIDC Resettlement

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314 Houses in Bhuj - Bhimrao Nagar, Ramdev Nagar & GIDC Resettlement

Mismatches Location Security Diversity Vulnerable groups
Policies and regulations National policies Local policies Public-private initiatives Participatory processes
Financing Supply subsidies Upstream financing Public-private collaboration
Promotion and production Public-private partnerships Participatory processes Self-management Self-promotion Self-construction Cooperatives Favelas/Slums
Ownership and tenure Shared ownership Land ownership

Main objectives of the project

In contrast to conventional slum redevelopment programs in India, which typically rely on contractors and allocate housing units to individual families without community involvement, this groundbreaking initiative in Bhuj demonstrates an alternative approach utilizing government subsidies. In these three projects, community members themselves played a central role in planning and constructing the new housing, supported by thoughtful design interventions that augmented existing social dynamics and leveraged local knowledge for sustainable living in the region's hot climate.

Date

  • 2021: Construction
  • 2010: En proceso

Stakeholders

  • Bhuj Municipal Corporation
  • Hunnarshala Foundation
  • Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan (KMVS)
  • Sakhi Sangini
  • Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY)
  • Arid Communities and Technologies (ACT)
  • K-Link Foundation

Location

Continent: Asia
Country/Region: Bhuj, India

Description

Bhuj, a historic city in Gujarat, India's westernmost state, has served as the administrative center of Kutch District since 1947. Situated in a region prone to extreme heat, droughts, earthquakes, and cyclones, Bhuj faced a significant setback when it was nearly flattened by an earthquake in January 2001, causing the loss of 7,000 lives and leaving thousands homeless. Within Bhuj, there exist 76 slum settlements, accommodating approximately one-third of the city's population, yet residents lack secure land tenure. These slums, organized along religious and caste lines, often originated from land allocated to lower-caste communities in exchange for services rendered to the city by historical authorities. Despite their ancestral land rights, most residents are still regarded as squatters on public land since Indian independence in 1947.

In 2010, a pivotal change began with Sakhi Sangini, a federation of women's self-help groups, conducting Bhuj's first comprehensive survey of slums. Recognizing challenges in drinking water supply and housing, Sakhi Sangini, along with Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan (KMVS) and Hunnarshala, initiated projects to address these issues with modest donor funding. This initiative evolved into the Homes in the City program, aiming to improve housing, sanitation, water supply, waste management, and livelihoods. Although successful in empowering 120 vulnerable families to upgrade or rebuild their homes using low-interest loans and technical support, the program faced limitations due to insufficient funds. The introduction of the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) Program provided a promising solution. Unlike typical government slum redevelopment schemes led by contractors and developers, RAY aimed for a different approach, acknowledging Bhuj's unique circumstances.

Recognizing the importance of outdoor spaces and community cohesion, a study conducted by students from the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) in Ahmedabad highlighted that most families in Bhuj's slums occupied 60-80 square meters of land. This finding emphasized the need for a participatory, community-driven housing reconstruction pilot. As a result, a comprehensive plan was devised, involving 314 households across three slum areas. Each household was allocated 65-square meter plots with full infrastructure and permanent land tenure, ensuring community involvement and satisfaction. This broke with how the public sector usually works. Rather than making high-rise buildings made by private promoters, the subsidies were given directly to residents, building community housing.

The initial focus was on Bhimrao Nagar, housing 42 families from the Marwada community, bestowed the land by the king of Bhuj. Out of these, 37 families opted to reconstruct their homes on the same site. Remarkably, five houses in Bhimrao Nagar, constructed with durable materials and in good condition, were exempt from rebuilding. Instead, they were integrated into the project, receiving equivalent tenure rights and infrastructure subsidies as the others.

Following Bhimrao Nagar, attention turned to Ramdev Nagar, an ancient settlement occupied by impoverished families for decades, spanning multiple generations. The dilapidated houses, constructed from tarpaulins, plastic sheets, mud, and cement blocks, highlighted the urgent need for redevelopment. All 116 houses in Ramdev Nagar were slated for reconstruction. Notably, five structurally sound houses in Ramdev Nagar were spared from demolition, included in the project, and granted the same benefits.

Lastly, the GIDC Resettlement site emerged as a temporary refuge following the 2001 earthquake's devastation. Among the 300 shelters in GIDC, 156 were earmarked for rebuilding in the initial phase of the RAY program.

Bhuj distinguished itself by embracing the RAY program through a community-driven approach, a rarity in Indian municipalities. The 314 slum families participating in the pilot project received subsidies directly from the local government, enabling them to collectively construct their homes. Facilitated by members of the Sakhi Sangini women's savings federation and supported by the NGO Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangatan, extensive consultations were conducted across the implementing communities to ensure clarity on the terms, subsidies, and operations of the RAY program. Ultimately, unanimous agreement was reached among the families in the three pilot communities to partake in the scheme.

Prior to the project's commencement, residents in all three communities lacked legal tenure status, relegating them to the status of squatters on public land. Technically, the land they occupied, spanning several generations in some cases, fell under the jurisdiction of the Central Government's Revenue Department. With the approval of the RAY project, the land was formally transferred to the Bhuj municipal government under a 99-year lease. Upon completion of the project, the 314 families involved will receive individual allotment certificates for their 65 square meter land plots, effectively granting them ownership of their dwellings. However, as per the RAY program's stipulations, families are prohibited from selling or transferring their land or houses for a period of 15 years following occupancy.

In each of the three settlements, the inception of the project marked the formation of slum committees. This step was pivotal as it signified the communities' transition from informality to formal inclusion within the legal framework. Those assuming roles in these committees underwent regular training and sensitization sessions facilitated by the women's savings federation and KMVS. These sessions covered a range of topics, including social, physical, and financial aspects crucial for collectively managing both the housing project and the resulting residences. The comprehensive redevelopment of all three communities entailed the creation of new layouts, houses, and infrastructure. The design process was collaborative and participatory, involving a series of workshops where architects engaged with community members, particularly women, to explore the strengths and weaknesses of their previous settlements and devise plans for their replacements. The layout designs underwent continuous refinement and adjustment, with finalization occurring only upon unanimous approval from all families across the three settlements.

The final layout plans for all three communities in Bhuj were carefully crafted to align with typical settlement patterns found in both rural and urban areas. Emphasizing communal living, houses were organized in clusters around common open spaces, fostering social interactions and providing safe areas for children to play. Beyond housing and basic amenities, the redevelopment plans aimed to enhance overall quality of life by incorporating social and community facilities such as community centers, shops, day-care centers, and health clinics.

Environmental sustainability was a key consideration, with efforts made to retain existing trees and introduce more greenery to increase shade coverage. Basic infrastructure services like metered municipal electricity and water connections were provided to each house, supplemented by innovative "green" solutions such as rainwater harvesting systems and localized water treatment. Additionally, street lights powered by solar panels ensured well-lit common areas at night.

Unlike traditional government-led redevelopment programs, the 314 Houses project in Bhuj stands out for its community-driven approach. By directly empowering residents with subsidies from the RAY Program, they were able to construct their own homes, showcasing the expertise of skilled artisans within the slum communities. This participatory model not only resulted in faster and cost-effective construction but also demonstrated the ability of communities to design and build housing more effectively than conventional government interventions.

Authors:

Ernestville Home Owners Association

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Ernestville Home Owners Association

Mismatches Security Functional adequacy Vulnerable groups Climate change
Policies and regulations National policies Local policies Participatory processes
Financing Financial actors Cultural actors Public funding Public-private collaboration
Urban Design Environments Public-private initiative Participatory processes
Promotion and production Public-private partnerships Self-promotion Cooperatives Favelas/Slums
Ownership and tenure Protection of social housing

Main objectives of the project

This housing project, collectively planned and managed in Metro Manila, marked a significant breakthrough on multiple fronts. Following the devastation caused by floods, 212 families residing in informal riverside settlements joined forces, establishing a new association. Together, they procured and purchased land for resettlement within the same barangay where they previously resided. Recognizing the constraints posed by the limited land area, they collaborated with a novel government initiative advocating for higher-density, yet affordable housing solutions. This innovative approach ensured that all 212 families obtained secure housing within the confines of the land available.

Date

  • 2017: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Promotor: Ernestville Home Owners Association
  • Gulod Urban Poor Alliance (GUPA)
  • Foundation for the Development of the Urban Poor, Inc. (FDUP)
  • The Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC)
  • The World Bank
  • Partnership of Philippine Support Service Agencies (PHILSSA)
  • One MERALCO Foundation (OMF)

Location

Continent: Asia
Country/Region: Philippines, Quezon City [Manila]

Description

Quezon City, the largest among the 16 cities constituting Metro Manila, hosts a population exceeding 3 million individuals. Within its borders, nearly a third of the 700,000 households reside in insecurity and substandard housing within informal settlements. Among these, approximately 92,000 families dwell on privately owned land, while the remainder inhabit public land deemed "danger areas," particularly along waterways or allocated for government infrastructure projects. The Foundation for the Development of the Urban Poor (FDUP), a local NGO, had long been collaborating with impoverished communities in Barangay Gulod to address their housing and land tenure issues. In 2007, with support from FDUP, residents of informal settlements in Barangay Gulod banded together to form the Gulod Urban Poor Alliance (GUPA), seeking collective engagement with local authorities. Initially comprising 11 communities, all registered as homeowners associations—a prerequisite for collective land acquisition in the Philippines—the alliance swelled to 34 associations representing 1,801 families by 2021. Over the years, the Gulod Alliance spearheaded initiatives spanning housing, land tenure, waste management, and healthcare.

Following the 2009 devastation wrought by Typhoon Ketsana, Barangay Gulod grappled with extensive damage, particularly within informal settlements lining the riverbanks. In response, the Gulod Alliance, in partnership with FDUP, conducted a post-disaster survey, meticulously mapping settlements and identifying hazards and high-risk areas. Leveraging this data, the alliance advocated for an "in-barangay" (in-the-district) resettlement program, proposing the relocation of vulnerable communities to safer sites within the same barangay—a more humane alternative to distant resettlement sites. This concept was exemplified in the Ernestville community, the first to undergo such a resettlement endeavor.

The introduction of the government's new High Density Housing program addressed the shortcomings of previous initiatives, which struggled to keep up with rising urban land prices and construction costs. As communities faced challenges in affording adequate land for individual housing units, the concept of higher-density housing emerged as a solution. This entailed developing more vertically-oriented structures, such as multi-story blocks, to accommodate more families on the same parcel of land. Recognizing the need for such housing solutions, the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), in consultation with the World Bank, launched the High Density Housing program. This initiative was piloted in the Ernestville project.

In 2008, the 129 families comprising the Ernestville community officially formed a Home Owners Association (HOA), a prerequisite for collective land acquisition in the Philippines. However, they encountered a shortfall in the loan amount offered by the administration, insufficient to cover the full land cost or down payment. Consequently, the HOA members initiated a community savings scheme to bridge this financial gap.

Considerations stemming from their experience with Typhoon Ketsana influenced the community's housing decisions. Some members had their homes destroyed by the typhoon, prompting the association to contemplate low-rise residential buildings, particularly for families residing near the river. Opting for low-rise structures allowed for greater accommodation of families within the limited land area, thereby reducing per-member land costs. After extensive consultations, the HOA resolved to pursue a low-rise housing project in 2011. Guided by technical expertise from NGO staff and local university architecture students, the community association developed plans for two-story core house structures with mezzanine or loft provisions for each unit, maintaining a uniform lot size of 25.6 square meters.

While the housing project was being completed, the support NGO now turned to getting the HOA ready for taking responsibility for its maintenance. With a grant from The Asia Foundation, FDUP conducted a series of intensive capacity-building activities and workshops for the leaders and members of the HOA which resulted in what they called the “Agreement on Community Living”. This agreement essentially laid down all the rules that the community as whole agreed to follow once they moved into their new neighborhood, including the use of common spaces, the kind of house improvements that were allowed, creative ways to generate funds to maintain their units as a community, and even rules on owning pets. Unlike in other housing projects of the government (in off-city resettlement sites, for example) where the rules are handed down by the agency administering the project, the rules in Ernestville were collectively decided by the community, with FDUP/the support NGO serving as the moderator of the discussions, facilitating agreements among members on contentious areas such as care for pets and designating parking areas. Each of the member-unit occupants signed this “Agreement on Community Living” as proof of their commitment to follow the policies and procedures they agreed to as a community.

As a pilot project, the Social Housing Finance Corporation exercised caution in implementing the relatively new concept of high-density, vertical housing. Initially, approval was granted for the construction of the first two buildings, which commenced in October 2014, serving as trial units for the project. Subsequent approval for the remaining ten buildings followed. In 2017, the project was inaugurated, with all units completed.

The project presented economic opportunities for community members, as the contractor agreed to hire 30% of the workers from a list provided by the Home Owners Association (HOA). The construction progress was closely monitored by the HOA, with a designated officer facilitating coordination with the contractor.

According to interviews with community leaders and members, their living conditions have significantly improved compared to their previous cramped spaces. Previously, they paid rent ranging from 2,500 ($52.65) to 3,000 ($63.15) pesos per month, whereas now, their monthly amortization amounts to only 1,400 pesos. The resulting monthly savings of over 1,000 pesos are allocated towards household utilities, food, and their children's education. Additionally, members appreciated the one-year repayment moratorium extended by the government, which alleviated financial burdens for many.

Authors: