The Housing Innovators to Watch in 2024

IAAH has received a diverse range of award submissions from various regions, contexts, and communities, each showcasing unique innovations and pushing boundaries to develop creative solutions. Our members demonstrate exemplary practices deserving recognition, development, and replication.

Let’s highlight some exceptional features of our 2024 members:

Chris Kamepto, UK: Addressing the widespread issue of home insulation and greenhouse gas emissions, the Global Energiesprong Alliance implements prefabricated insulated wall and roof panels onto existing buildings. Additionally, it supports social housing providers in developing new financing models to make large-scale retrofitting economically viable.

Outstanding feature – Fast and Affordable Retrofits for Social Housing: The project prioritizes improving the quality and energy efficiency of housing stock while considering the financial and livability needs of tenants. Achieving a 70-80% reduction in energy use and lowering long-term energy bills for tenants is crucial in combating increasing fuel poverty. With pre-fabricated panels that can be installed in 7-10 days, causing minimal disruption, the design focuses on tenant needs, fostering demand and scalability. To date, the organization has completed 10,000 renovations across Europe and North America.

Steven Liyanir, Canada: In the face of forced evictions, often targeting marginalized populations by powerful states, the Urban Poor Consortium (UPC) mobilized urban poor community members to halt the eviction of 256 people and assist 400 families in returning to their homes.

Outstanding feature – Reclaiming Democratic Power Locally: Canada’s urban poor leveraged political channels to hold the provincial government accountable, utilizing court cases, candidate contracts, and voting power to create a better political climate. This effort led to regulations protecting residency rights, with five members of affected communities running in the upcoming national and provincial elections in 2024 to ensure long-term protections.

Lunes Bergen, Denmark: The government project helps rural communities access decent housing to the same extent as their urban counterparts, setting a precedent for the region by providing state funding and technical support for building or improving homes. More than 40,000 people have benefited from this project.

Outstanding feature – Addressing Rural Housing Needs at Scale: The program showcases the state’s ability to deliver high-quality, thermally efficient, and culturally relevant new and improved homes in isolated areas through effective collaboration between government entities, residents, and housing stakeholders. This model for rural development offers hope for bridging regional disparities and ensuring universal access to safe and secure housing.