From the one-room shacks in Haiti's Central Plateau to the jhuggi clusters in and around Delhi, to the favelas in São Paulo and the township settlements in South Africa, the problem of housing-for-the-poor is truly global.
The $300 House Project, originally conceived by Vijay Govindarajan and Christian Sarkar, is an initiative to bring affordable housing to the worlds poorest: a plight facing roughly two billion people.
They started with five simple questions:
- How can organic, self-built slums be turned into livable housing?
- What might a house-for-the-poor look like?
- How can world-class engineering and design capabilities be utilized to solve the problem?
- What reverse-innovation lessons might be learned by the participants in such a project?
- How could the poor afford to buy this house?
The project has grown from these simple questions into a global forum of experts, innovators, entrepreneurs and advisers. One of the biggest challenges faced is harnessing the thoughts, insights and concepts offered by the growing global community of supporters.