Redefining affordable housing with the Snehalaya FoundationFulfilling the dreams of the slum dwellers of Sanjaynagar
Affordable housing has been a ubiquitous problem around the world. With an increase in the population and urbanization, socio-economic patterns are undergoing changes. This has resulted in a severe shortage of basic human needs. Affordable and inclusive housing and lack of infrastructure is one such need that has become a great challenge. At the crux of urban housing projects is slum-redevelopment. The word ‘slum’ brings to mind a variety of things like poverty-stricken overcrowded spaces and unplanned localities with dilapidated houses. The census of 2011 claims that one in every six urban Indians lives in a slum without access to basic infrastructures like tapped water and basic sanitation. In the past, we have seen the implementation of a number of slum redevelopment projects fail. This is usually the result of having unplanned projects that have been constructed without understanding the needs of the community. The houses built were reported to have been unliveable and agnostic to the needs of the slum dwellers, often threatening the social fabric.
This is where our partner Snehalaya and their efforts at redeveloping the Sanjaynagar slum comes in.
Despite our perceptions of a slum, what I witnessed when I visited the Sanjaynagar slum in Ahmednagar, early in November was something very different. People from different faiths, regions and occupations, formed a vibrant conflux of communities that have been living together for decades now. The team at Curry Stone Design Collaborative describes this very well when they say, “What they lack in physical infrastructure and facilities is often compensated for with a greater sense of social cohesion, safety and protection experienced by those living in these settlements.”
The Sanjaynagar slum redevelopment program is designed to be implemented in a unique manner. Each resident will be given the freedom to customise the requirements of their new home. From choosing a neighbour to live with to the final house (with provisions for a duplex house), the owner has the last say. The project has been assigned under the PMAY’s scheme for affordable housing in partnerships.
A nexus of different stakeholders have come together to ensure that the people of Sanjaynagar have access to affordable houses while making sure that the ‘social fabric’ remains undisturbed. We have entered into a partnership with Snehalaya Foundation, in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. They are the implementing partner for the project. Snehalaya’s work has always been towards providing support for women and children. Their connect with the community in the Sanjaynagar slum plays an instrumental role in the implementation of this project.
Hunnarshala Foundation an award-winning organisation has been onboarded to construct the homes. They uses indigenous ways of construction to provide for cost-effective and sustainable housing.
Curry Stone Design Collaborative works to address inequalities in the built environment by designing and equipping communities with tools to develop their built environment. They realise the importance of providing options of customising the homes according to the needs of the community to sustain the feeling of oneness that they feel. They have also played an integral role in ensuring the credit needs of the people of Sanjaynagar are met by providing the community with a certain percentage of the money needed for the construction. However, to ensure that the people feel a sense of ownership towards their houses, they have been asked to fulfil the remaining amount, for which they will be seeking credit from Rang De.
This project hence provides the nexus between affordability, adequacy, viability and security of residence by ensuring that the project is not just composed of plans but is rather, reflective of the community.
Through this groundbreaking partnership, you will now be able to fulfill the needs of the slum dwellers of Sanjaynagar to help them become owners of the house that they truly dreamt of having.
Be sure to sign up on Rang De to invest in the investees from Sanjaynagar.