Shelter Afrique to Spur Designs for Affordable Housing in Africa

unnamedPan-African housing development finance institution Shelter Afrique has today announced the launch of a competition that will boost affordable housing in Africa and see winners take home USD100,000. The competition dubbed 5,000 For 5,000 Home Competition, will aim at stimulating innovative thinking on how a livable and sustainable home can be designed and produced at a capital cost of no more than USD5,000 to the end user.

Speaking to media in Nairobi, Kenya, Shelter Afrique’s Managing Director James Mugerwa said, “Evidence of a rising middle class abound in Sub-Sahara Africa’s largest cities. However, there is another story of uncomfortable and increasingly often less told story of Africa’s urban poor.” This competition aims to spur discussion and bring out affordable housing concepts that might be out there for the rising urban population,” he added.

Shelter Afrique (and partners) have undertaken to support the financing for the development and completion of 5,000 units with the winning entry in agreed locations across Africa.  The Competition will be open for entries on 25th November 2016 and close on January 31st, 2017.

To win the competition, participants are urged to follow the following criteria:

  • The proposed design is for a one-bedroom dwelling unit with a foot print of approximately 45 square meters.
  • Design to include kitchen, bedroom, toilet and living area.
  • Adequate lighting with adaptable design to suite a range of customers.
  • Generous head room and floor to ceiling heights with possible options for natural ventilation.
  • Use of eco- friendly, light weight sustainable materials to achieve low construction cost requirement.
  • The design should be easy to replicate.

The Competition is open to anyone including individuals, team of designers, artists, architects, engineers and other players in the housing sector. Shelter Afrique has set aside a prize fund of US$100,000 to go to the top entries, with most of the money going to the top 3 entries.

Research shows that two thirds of the population in Africa’s cities and townships live on less than USD 3.10 per day and universally, housing supply has failed to respond to the need of this significant and legitimate population.

The cost of new housing including those built by government agencies are significantly higher than what people with low incomes can afford. The consequence of this is the rapid growth of informal settlements, slums on the edge of Africa’s major cities with obvious consequences for economic development, health, safety and security. The competition will seek to highlight this problem and provide a sustainable solution that can be emulated in different countries.


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