World Habitat Awards 2021, the winning projects


Prize, World Habitat Awards,

The World Habitat Awards, originally founded in 1985 and organised by World Habitat in collaboration with UN-Habitat, are the most prestigious award in the housing sector. The 2021 Gold Award winners are the Introducing Community Land Trusts in Continental Europe project (Belgium) and the Housing Monitor project (Lebanon).

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World Habitat Awards 2021, the winning projects
The World Habitat organisation is committed to the fundamental right to safe and secure housing. For this reason, it collaborates with UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, to ensure a better urban future. The World Habitat Awards are one of the tools used to promote the efforts made in that regard.
The two gold winners of the World Habitat Awards 2021 are the Introducing Community Land Trusts in Continental Europe project in Brussels, and the Housing Monitor project run by the Public Works Studio in Beirut.
The first project tackles the affordable housing crisis in Brussels, caused by the rising house prices and the lack of social housing, which have left low-income earners with little choice but to rent low-quality housing or leave the city. The project is run by Community Land Trust Brussels (CLTB), which advocate the use of the Community Land Trust model in Belgium to address this growing problem. Houses are sold at 30-50 percent below market prices and the cost of the house is subsidised based on the family's ability to pay. So far, CLTB has completed five projects, housing 450 people in 103 homes, while four more projects are currently in the preparation stage.
Housing Monitor, on the other hand, is a housing rights project based in Beirut run by the Public Works Studio. It provides support for individuals who report housing-related violations and injustices such as evictions, having resolved 472 cases so far. Public Works Studio responds to the housing needs of individuals by providing access to legal and social services, building 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 is giving these communities a voice to demand their basic housing rights and campaign for a more fair and equitable society. The two Gold Award winners receive £10,000 and the opportunity for international development activities.
In addition to these two Gold Award winners, World Habitat is also presenting two Silver Awards and four Bronze Awards. The first Silver Award goes to the "Integrated Community Development for Poverty Reduction" project in Bhutan, which aims to improve the living conditions of remote communities through the integration of housing, sanitation, livelihoods and food security. The second Silver Award winner, on the other hand, is the "Hull Women's Safe Homes" project in the UK. This project is experimenting with a home ownership model for charities to provide housing with integrated services for women and their children who have suffered domestic abuse.
Módulo Sanitario in Argentina, winner of the Bronze Award, addresses the lack of hygienic services in informal settlements by installing bathroom and kitchen modules in homes, as well as providing families with hygiene kits. A bronze award was also recognised to Arkom Indonesia, the organisation which, following the 2018 tsunami in Palu Bay, helped the local community manage their recovery and reconstruction and safe relocation close to the sea that provides their primary source of income. Also in reference to a natural disaster, another bronze winner is the post-earthquake housing reconstruction project in Mexico that uses natural materials and vernacular techniques, combined with a participatory, inclusive and diversified design, to tackle the housing poverty amongst vulnerable groups. Finally, the last bronze winner is the MiCASiTA: Incremental Financing for Affordable Home Expansion project in the USA, a phased construction project in Texas which provides low-cost mortgages that adapt and grow as families expand and extend 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, Chief Executive of World Habitat affirms "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

World Habitat Awards 2021
Images: see captions
Find out more: https://world-habitat.org/world-habitat-awards/