Affordable Housing : The AB model
Habitat Alliance

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
The traditional housing in rural India, prior to the spread of modern technology, presented the near perfect example of environment friendly design and materials. These houses were in harmonious fusion with the surrounding eco-climatic system. The village’s green rich eco-system supplied a variety of materials with which people made their houses for generations. These materials ranged from local timber to coconut leaves for thatching. There was also an abundant supply of various rock types ranging from hard granite rocks and rubble, to laterite stone, and clay soil. The influence of the modern engineers and architects had been such that the preference pattern of the consumer has shifted toward concrete structures. House builders began to consider cement as a status material, representing all that was modern and ‘desirable' in housing. Thus, the ‘modern’ house with high cost materials captured the imagination of the average people. Such a trend in housing preference resulted in extravagant designs and irrational and wasteful use of materials which has, in turn, caused not only the fast depletion of naturally available building materials but also inflicted heavy damage to land, river and environment. The economic, environmental and social implications of the housing boom show that the trend in the housing sector has been clearly detrimental to a balanced and environmentally sustainable resource use pattern. It has rendered housing a luxury commodity beyond the reach of poorer sections of the society. Housing today demands at an increasing rate, a continuous supply of the depleting resources from nature. It is against such a grim scenario that the new thinking and initiatives have emerged in housing. The AB model of affordable housing is an initiative championed by Habitat Alliance (HA) , whose spectrum of activities has been expanding over the years. The housing scenario in India, especially Kerala, was marked by. • Spiralling land cost, exploitative contracting system and non availability of afford building materials. • Lack of awareness among the masses and practitioners regarding appropriate technology options for sustainable habitat development. • Lack of an effective delivery system to transfer technologies from R&D institutions to the ultimate users. • Adverse impact of the above on scarce material resource and the need for adopting cost-effective and environment friendly (CEEF) • Lack of adequate shelter for the low income groups. • Lack of trained manpower to propagate sustainable technology options to the grass roots. • Non – involvement of women and weaker sections in the construction sector. • No- input of cost effective and environment friendly (CEEF) technology options in academic programmes of technical institutions. • Lack of policy and legislative back up for affordable housing.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
This situation necessitated some serious thinking and eventually Habitat Alliance (HA) came up with some novel ideas on reducing the cost of the building, without sacrificing durability and strength. To achieve this objective the first grass root level building technology transfer cum training centre was launched. The main task of the Habitat Alliance (HA) was to adapt innovative technology developed in the R&D institutions in the country such as the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) and the National Building Organization (NBO). At the Habitat Alliance (HA) a few masons, carpenters, engineers and architects collectively learned the art of constructing houses using alternative technology and locally available building materials. The housing colony at Clappana was the first result of the Habitat Alliance (HA) experiment. The initiative sought to solve the problems through • Training of Trainers • Capacity Building • Skill development in affordable housing options Besides, the information and extension wing of the HA undertakes awareness generation activities by holding discussions, exhibitions, seminars, workshops and hands-on sessions through the women's organizations, youth clubs and the local self-government institutions. Pamphlets and booklets on various aspects of CEEF housing are printed and circulated along with the morning newspapers. Habitat Technology Parks are set up at public places and the precincts of technical institutions. To solve the problems in the field HA provides consultancy and offers • Turnkey solutions • CEEF Construction • Single window for development of human settlement • Project Management • Management of Natural resources • Facility management • Urban Civic Services management • Incubation of Related Institutions • Evaluation and Appraisal and • Production of Materials Research and Development activities are offered in • Adaptive Research • Transfer of Appropriate Technology • Establishing Research institution- industry linkage and • Innovation Management The Habitat Alliance (HA) undertakes direct construction of buildings ranging from institutional buildings, residential buildings and allied structures such as mini water supply systems using CEEF technology and construction practices. One of the construction Centres constructed earthquake resistant houses in Latur district in India, which was hit by earthquakes. We promote green buildings through the use of materials such as:- • CBRICK • Clay Flyash Bricks • COIR-CNSL Boards • COIR-Cement Board • Sisalana Panels for walls • Concrete Block Machine • Sand Lime Brick Plant • Brick Making Machine • High Draught Kiln • Vertical Shaft Lime Kiln and far walls • Lime Kiln P.C. Device • Polytiles • IPN Coating • IPN-RB Coating • EPS Door Shutter • Gypsum Binder • Phosphogypsum and • Sisalana Panels for roofs Habitat Alliance also offers testing through • Automatic Free Fall Hammer and • Pile Integrity Testing R&D efforts of National Laboratories, State Institutions, NGO’s and efforts of professionals like Laurie Baker are extensively promoted through live projects. These institutes have developed innovative and cost effective construction technologies and building materials such as under reamed pile foundation, stabilized compressed earth blocks, stabilized adobe, Fall-G stabilized mud blocks, Clay fly ash burnt bricks, Fly ash/sand lime bricks, fly ash-lime gypsum products, late blocks, Fly ash based light weight aerated concrete walling and roofing blocks, Rat Trap bond, Bamboo-Mat based walls, composite ferrosystems, pyramidal brick roof, Guna tile roof, Micro concrete roofing tile, precast brick panels, ferrocement channel/shell units, funicular shells, Filler slabs, partition/ceiling/panels made out of wood waste, rice husk and bagasse, precast RCC doors and windows, brick arches, corbels, brick jails, ferrocementwater tanks etc. These technologies/ materials will be cost effective to anextent of 40% when adopted in thebuilding construction. During the initial stages of establishment of the movement, the problem faced were primarily logistic in nature involving availability of land, infrastructure lack of enthusiastic Project Managers, lack of acceptability of alternate technologies and reluctance of the local implementing agencies to utilise the services of the Habitat Alliances. The logistic problems were resolved through detailed interaction with the stakeholders and through appropriate interventions at the levels of State Govt, local bodies, promoting and implementing agencies. The technology applications/ adoption were achieved through appropriate dissemination of information and through training of Project Managers / Supervisors / Master Masons.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The most creative and innovative aspect of the HA model in affordable housing is the novel ways through which it demonstrated that cost can be minimized by the use of locally available materials either alone or in combination with several other materials. There are several locally available materials which can be used in construction. Boulders can be used as building blocks. Coir pith and clay for manufacture of light weight brick. Coconut shells for building blocks and roofing slabs. Coir fibre in combination with cement and fine sand for the manufacture of roofing sheets to replace expensive and hazardous A.C. sheets. Mud for Plastering. Lime sludge in combination with mud and cement. Fly ash from news print factory at vellor and mineral factory at Chavara to replace cement. Granite broken pieces to be used for flooring, instead of mosaic chips Yet another innovative feature of the HA model is that it is responsible for introducing substantial numbers of women to house building work. The women personnel set up sub-centres which undertake construction by using low-cost and environment friendly materials and techniques. The organizational innovation of the model is that the institutions under it are run through the voluntary efforts of the professionals, like engineers and architects who provide part time assistance in their respective fields. Right from engineer to masons the Habitat Alliance centres are is run by dedicated volunteers, leading to the reduction of overhead.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The Habitat Alliance approach to housing which began as a modest innovation in housing has, within a short span, been able to make perceptible impact in the housing sector. This has been made possible through the progressive expansion of the activities of the networking centres. The spectrum of Habitat Alliance activities range from direct construction of houses for the clients and production of cost-effective building components to publication and academic service in this field. At the micro and macro levels of Habitat Alliance constructions a holistic approach to habitat management is evident. The dependence, to the extent possible, on locally available materials and technology itself ensures environment – friendly dwellings. Laterite, which is a gift of nature and present abundantly in most of the housing plots is extensively used in Building Construction Centres (BCC). Rubble filler blocks, soil stabilized blocks concrete hollow blocks and funicular shells are some of the several innovations the BCCs have popularized, to ensure environmental protection, thermal comfort and cost- effectiveness. It has been accepted that developmental work often leads to environmental consequences, normally with a negative fall out. The Building Construction Centre has been trying to evolve development strategies in housing that minimize the amount of negative environmental consequences. For material production, Habitat Alliance now depends extensively on solar heat to get mud-blocks stabilized, thereby preventing the cutting down of trees for fuel and environmental pollution from smoke. HA reduces the quantity of cement and steel. In the place of the traditional 4" thick roofing slab, the BCCs have introduced the 1" thick slab which not only saves money on the roof, but by reducing the weight on the walls and foundation, helps reduce cost in those areas as well. In funicular shells, the very shape itself ensures reduced use of materials, increased strength and thermal comfort. Utilizing the technology for treating softwoods to make them more sturdy while the use of, woods such as rubber and coconut reduce the cutting down of forest. The main features of these materials including their durability and cost effectiveness, vis-a-vis, that of conventional materials, are discussed below. To reduce the cost on roof the two main innovative roofing systems that are popularized by the Habitat Alliances are the filler slab system and the pre-cast roofing. Pre-cast RCC door and window frames are produced in most of the BCC in Kerala. They are perfect substitutes for costly wooden frames. Through up-gradation of local skills, and new techniques developed at the BCC, cutting and polishing of laterite have become easier than before. Substitutes for timber like ferro-cement rafters, ridges, joints etc., as also door and window frames in ferro-cement and concrete are manufactured and distributed. The government's decision to entrust the construction of village offices to the BCC has given a fillip to their activities. Construction of public buildings by the Centres has a good demonstration effect in that it removes, to some extent, the misconception of people that the low-cost buildings imply low quality and are meant for the poor people. Constructions for the weaker sections is undertaken in remote tribal areas, fishermen's colonies, and in localities where workers in the traditional industries of coir and cashew reside. The constructions are undertaken with the active participation of the people living in those areas. The Consultancy and Guidance cells of the Building Construction Centres show the ways of effecting savings in public investment. Habitat Alliance has already started work on developing Eco-Villages which will demonstrate how human life is possible in perfect harmony with environment. In these villages, cultivation will be done using organic manure avoiding pesticides and chemicals, construction will employ locally available cost-effective materials and energy requirements will be met from alternative energy sources.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The major stakeholder of the Habitat Alliance are the NGOs who have net – worked to it. However, Structural Engineering Research Centre of the Govt. Of India offered to send their trainers to demonstrate low cost technology and train the engineers, masons, architects, carpenters and artisans. Technology transfer which started in 1985 has later on triggered off a movement for affordable housing through transfer of appropriate technology, the world over. Institutions in the country, such as the Housing and Urban Development Cooperative (HUDCO) and the Regional Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), and the Regional Research Laboratories were also gradually drawn in. The masons, carpenters, engineers and architects collectively learnt the art of constructing houses using alternate technology and locally available building materials are the functional stakeholders of the movement. The institutional stakeholders include GNN, Institute of Habitat Education, SPP Architects and Designs, Centre for Technology and Development, Orion Projects, Prakriti Green Concepts, RD Constructions etc. Besides, State Government, District Administration, Housing organizations, educational institutions, NGO/CBOs, Construction Workers Cooperatives and Private Entrepreneurs joined the initiative as stakeholders. The end users or the beneficiaries are the perennial stakeholders of the movement. Habitat Alliance also provides affordable housing concepts to other countries. Some of the stakeholders have formed the following partnerships with Habitat Alliance through African Alignment, Window to Egypt, voyage to South Africa, Algerian corridor, road from Istanbul, passage to Africa, Norway connect, Bridge to Nigeria, Nepal pass, silk route to Ukraine, Gulf Stream, Swedish Gateway.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
While considering the important resources required for building construction activity like money, materials, man power and machinery, it may be noted that one of the critical areas where least attention has been paid over the years is manpower development. This gap is evident with respect to different trade groups of the building process such as the masons, carpenters barbenders, welders, plumbers, electricians, concrete workers and so forth. In most cases, they have acquired skills over a period of time through a net-work of informal and personal apprenticeship. In a situation where the demand is more than the supply, the unskilled and semi skilled construction work force take up the role of the skilled workers, though not with the right level of proficiency. Construction work force is not tuned for application of most of the cost-effective technology options. There is scarcity of adequate number of trained personnel for various trades of construction. In view of the increasing complexity of construction technology, the training programme of the Habitat Alliances has included all trades related to housing in the skill improvement programmes. Although the main technology package in housing disseminated by the Habitat Alliances is an amalgam of elements received from various research institutions such as the Central Building Research Institute, National Building Organization, Structural Engineering Research Centre and Engineering Colleges, Habitat Alliance also undertakes research and development activities of its own. Financial recourses of the organization are raised through: Membership fee, sponsorships and contribution from the network partners, grant and other contribution from the Government and Non Governmental agencies, construction fee, proceeds from conference, seminars, social dialogues and colloquia and exhibitions, sale of publications, fee for transfer of technology and proceeds from consultancy in habitat management, environment management, water conservation etc; After the Govt. of India took it up as a national project in 1998 additional financial resources came in the following manner. Resources were made available from different sources like Govt of India grant assistance for establishing initial infrastructure development and training facilities through its budgetary support, annually, totaling about Rs 236 million. In addition Govt of India's training fund of over Rs182 million under NRY was released. BMTPC has made available significant resources for procurement of machinaries and equipment’s for upgrading the capacity of the Habitat Alliances. In addition, the State Govt Educational Institutions/ NGOs/ CBOs provides land forthe Habitat Alliances besides funds under various training programme. Technical resource by way of research and development, provision of appropriate technology for house construction, water and wastewater management, production of building materials and carbon sequestration come from our institutional partners such as the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee, Indian Institute of Technology, Government of Indian agencies such as the Building Material Technology Promotion Council, and the Council For Scientific and Industrial Research and national institutions in the countries of the network partners. Personnel required for the activities of HA come from the members of its network partners, from the beneficiaries and members of the Women Assembly and Youth Assembly which mobilize women and youth power for HA activities. Students from the academic institutions also provide adequate human resource back up for HA.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The Movement provided an effective mechanism of selecting and transferring appropriate technology from R&D institutions in the country to the ultimate user. Tangible output was also brought about through manufacturing and marketing cost effective building materials and components to the user. Habitat Alliance’s ability to perceive and plan for human re- sources developmental needs of the housing sector was another important output contributing to project sustainability. Training programmes in different skills (masonry, carpentry), related to CEEF technology, for different target groups (women, handicapped, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes etc.) and educational programmes (Masters and Diplomas in Habitat Technology) organized as an integral part of the project facilitated these tasks. Other tangible outputs are: 1. 30% reduction in construction cost 2. From 14 BCCs in Kerala(1988) to about 500 BCCs in India. 3. Training-over 15000 youth, including 200 mentally retarded youths in CEEF technology. 4. Education – hundreds of Engineers and Architects & thousands of diploma engineers completed MS & Diploma in Habitat Technology and other academic courses respectively. More than 500 professionals trained in specialised areas of Habitat Management. At the local level HA has established its social relevance and overcome the initial resistance by holding social dialogues among the stakeholders and stepping in to provide tangible help during disasters. HA has also roped in cultural leaders to bring about cultural change in society in favor of affordable housing. The impact of Habitat Alliances have been measured quantitatively and qualitatively by Govt. of India, HUDCO and Management Institutions.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Habitat Alliance (HA), being a networking organization of autonomous institutions mostly in the non – governmental sector, did not embark on a hierarchical and centralized monitoring system. However, a system of monitoring evolved at the grass root level, regional level, state level and finally at the national level. The rural centres at the grass root level reports to the regional centres. the regional centres monitor the activities and sends feed back and problem solving advisories. The regional centres report to the state centre which monitors the activities at the macro level. The national monitoring cell managed by Prakriti Green Concepts concerns itself with monitoring of larger issues regarding the adaptation, application and quality aspects of technology transfer and project implementation. To streamline the monitoring mechanism and make it more systematic and measurable a six phase monitoring protocol has been put in place. They are as: Standard Setting and Capacity Building Phase – Norms and standards are prescribed and capacity to comply is built. Information Collection Phase – Information on implementation processes and impact is gathered and reported upon Reporting Phase - Compliance to regulatory framework is measured and learning by doing leads to best practice promotion and collaborative problem solving Follow up Phase - Interventions are designed and implemented and evidence based decision making supports policy adjustments Results Achieved - Transparency and accountability is improved and service delivery is improved Objectives Attained - Improved governance and enhanced service effectiveness The crux of the monitoring system in Habitat Alliance rests on the people’s committees formed at various levels. The committee system operate through rural centres, neighborhood groups (Ayalkoottams), local resources persons, development simities and task forces drawn from the experts and volunteers within the local area. These are made up mostly of retired professionals like engineers, architects, academicians, managers, civil servants etc. who volunteer their services for the cause of affordable housing and sustainable human settlements.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
There has been serious resistance to change from the part of engineers and architects whose preferred line is the conventional materials and methods of construction. Innovations and techniques propagated at the Habitat Alliance are yet to find a place in the Code of the Public Works Department. There is also some concealed resistance from suppliers of conventional building materials also. The obstacles faced by Habitat Alliances in the formative years were The reluctance of the house builders to use cost-effective and environment friendly technologies Lack of field level delivery system to transfer technology from 'lab to land' Inadequate financial support for transfer of technology, organization of training programme and skill upgradation Non existence of legislative and policy support for CEEF and low-cost technology vis-à-vis high cost conventional technology Lack of institutional mechanism to provide back-up services for affordable housing under a single window Gross inadequacy of an effective network of NGOs in the less developed countries to convey the lessons learned in CEEF housing from country to country There was a misconception that low cost means low quality or low cost technology is poor man’s technology. HA’s credibility came to be established when it began to add in its track record public buildings, ranging from village offices, schools, hospitals, anti-disaster shelters, government servants’ quarters, industrial estates, shopping complexes, auditoria, indoor stadia, working women’s hostels, T.V. relay stations, tourist resorts and residential houses for high, middle as well as low income groups and economically weaker sections, with a saving of up to 30 per cent in costs. To overcome the obstacle paused by lack of awareness Habitat Alliance spread its message through audio-visual programmes, seminars, interactive sessions with villagers and circulation of literature (pamphlets, brochures, and others) in the mother tongue in cost effective technology. All construction works undertaken by the HA were completed at below the conventional cost. The construction culture popularised by BCC gained the confidence of people.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The central mission of Habitat Alliance is dissemination, popularization and promotion of cost-effective and environment friendly (CEEF) building technology in society. Habitat Alliances could also check the exploitative contracting system. Evaluation studies show that these benefits did percolate to society in a substantial way. The Movement provided an effective mechanism of selecting and transferring appropriate technology from R&D institutions in the country to the ultimate user. An effective delivery system from “lab to land” was rather weak prior to this project initiative. The project strengthened these linkages and enabled to reach the goal of sustainability. Tangible benefit in bringing about lasting changes and sustainability was also brought about by the project through a strategy of manufacturing and marketing cost effective building materials and components to the user. Selection and adoption of alternative building materials (wood substitutes, ferro cement) and recycling of industrial waste products is an other strategy employed by the Habitat Alliance Movement in its work programme. By integrating this, with the project, the felt need of the user for cost effective building materials at affordable prices was met. The project's ability to perceive and plan for human re- sources developmental needs of the housing sector was another important factor contributing to project sustainability. Training programmes in different skills (masonry, carpentry), related to CEEF technology, for different target groups (women, handicapped, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes etc.) and educational programmes (Masters and Diplomas in Habitat Technology) organised as an integral part of the project facilitated these tasks. Strategies such as delinking developmental tasks from government rigidities; networking with likeminded organisations in the country; building awareness camps and demonstrations for bringing about attitudinal changes; establishment of housing guidance centres; and integrating concepts of traditional architecture with the modern were other aspects of the project enabling its success and sustainability. The Habitat Alliance project is thus an effective model of a practice that can be effectively sustained. a. Other notable benefit of Habitat Alliance change from tokenism to total coverage in habitat technology as reveled in the spread of the Habitat Alliance Movement from one district (Quilon, Kerala) to all districts in the country. b. Integration of R&D, education, training, production and marketing of building materials etc. c. Technical soundness of the work programmes, quality of works aesthetics etc. based on feedback from users. d. Increasing demand and geographical spread of works. e. Overall growth in clientele and volume of works. f. Increasing awareness among the public, professionals & in the media of the Habitat Alliances Movement & their acceptance. g. Global application of the concept through the Global Nirmithi Net (GNN). The Habitat Alliance technology which is labour-intensive has generated substantial additional employment opportunities in the country. According to the NBO estimate, for an investment of Rs. 10 millions there will be on-site employment of 923 man years and off-site employment of 1,477 man years. The Rajiv one million housing programme launched by the Government of Kerala at the initiative of the Kerala State Habitat Alliance at the initiative of the Kerala State Habitat Alliance is estimated to generate additional employment opportunities for 2.5 lakhs. Though Habitat Alliance enjoys the patronage and support of Government in ample measure it has been able to retain its character as a voluntary organization . It has resource groups of experts in all spheres of habitat technology and management whose labour of love has given the organization the status of a centre of excellence in a short time . Habitat Alliance is not an employer and there are no permanent appointments in the organization. It is run by volunteers . Even private builders and contractors are not kept out of the purview of its operations.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The model is based on the social realities and has promoted the concept of low rise high density cluster planning for sustainability. The use of building material made out of agriculture and industrial wastes especially fly ash has been widely disseminated and extensively made use of by the Habitat Alliances. The initial assistance provided in form of grant for infrastructure, equipments and on training of artisans besides softloan for working capital is aimed at making the Habitat Alliances self sustainable in the long run. The network of Habitat Alliance have been quite successful in this regard. The concept of the Habitat Alliance is based on self sustenancy and as such the reliance on external resources is very limited. The Habitat Alliances network has been able to achieve self sufficiency in varying periods of operation depending on the local environment, acceptance of the technologies promoted, marketability of products and taking of construction activities etc. By and large, the Habitat Alliance partners would be able to sustain themselves within a year or so and are able to repay their loans timely. Sustainability of HA is reflected in: Expanding the movement in rural areas, establishment of Mobile BCCs on wheels, improved monitoring systems, quality control/Standardization/Marketing of building components and participatory process. The background, under which this initiative was launched and implemented in India, is commonly prevalent in most of the developing nations and can be effectively replicated by these countries. Already, the Republic of South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, Namibia, Tanzania, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, the Caribbean Countries etc have shown considerable interest and are planning to introduce a similar movement in their respective countries in view of the strong replicable potential and the impact that it is able to make on cost effective and appropriate housing . The sustainability of the HA Model is based on the social and cultural realities in that if it has promoted the concept of low rise, high density cluster planning for sustainability. The use of building material made out of agriculture and industrial wastes especially fly ash has been widely disseminated and extensively made use of by the Habitat Alliances leading to technical sustainability. As far as financial sustainability is concerned the initial assistance provided in the form of grant for infrastructure, equipments and on training of artisans besides soft loan for working capital is aimed at making the Habitat Alliances self sustainable in the long run. The network of Habitat Alliances have been quite successful in this regard and as many as 372 Habitat Alliances out of over 600sanctioned so far are fully functional and self sustaining. The profit out of the proceeds from sale of building components and construction projects are ploughed back for increased production.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
The Habitat Alliance movement has been able to demonstrate the impact which could be created by the right interventions and adoption of innovative technologies developed by R&D bodies on the overall housing and construction scenario in the country. However, during the process of implementation of this programme, it was fact of important need to improve the Institutional Framework and Management Schemes, Effective monitoring system, quality control, standardisation, marketing of BCC components, participatory process etc. These issues are discussed below Umbrella or promoting agencies play a key role in the development of Habitat Alliances, not only when channeling public funds in the stage of establishment but also defining the type of management and by controlling the operations. Habitat Alliances have to be concerned about the financial sustainability of their operations. They can easily orient their operations towards the local markets of Building Materials and construction services. The Habitat Alliance management skills to be improved to assure accounting and book keeping the use of basic marketing etc. An improved monitoring system to be established for efficient performance Other important lessons learned are It is not enough that cost-effective and environment-friendly technologies are developed and kept in the R&D institutions, but effective grass root level delivery system is required to take technology from 'lab-to-land'. An effective network of Non Governmental Organisations with local moorings on a national and local level is necessary for the exchange of expertise, experience and know how in affordable housing. Awareness generation and attitudinal changes are crucial to habitat development and hence the Habitat Agenda has to become a people's agenda through effective information and extension activities. Women hold the key to any successful mission in sustainable habitat development. Gender mainstreaming in this sector is therefore very crucial. Economical and environmental concerns are to be integrated for sustainable development of human settlements. There is urgent need for demystification of the housing and construction sector through training and capacity building of the beneficiaries and end users if exploitation is to be warded off. Eco-friendly habitat development is possible through proper training, awareness and availability. of resources as is evident in the eco-village at Mannanam in Kerala. Awareness and involvement of the youth in meaningful habitat developmental activities are an essential attribute of this program as is evident in the Habitat Clubs set up in educational institutions.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Habitat Alliance
Institution Type:   Non-Governmental Organization  
Contact Person:   A. V. Resmy
Title:   Director  
Telephone/ Fax:  
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   Flat No. C -61, Soochana Apartment, Vasundhara Enclave
Postal Code:   110096
City:   New Delhi
State/Province:   Delhi

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