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World Habitat Awards World Habitat Awards

Building and Social Housing Foundation (BSHF)
World Habitat Awards

World Habitat Awards  

The World Habitat Awards were established in 1985 by the Building and Social Housing Foundation as part of its contribution to the United Nations International Year of Shelter for the Homeless.Two awards are given annually to projects that provide practical and innovative solutions to current housing needs and problems. Every year an award of £10,000 is presented to each of the two winners at the World Urban Forum (even years) and UN-Habitat Governing Council (odd years).

Over the years, a large range of excellent habitat projects were identified over the years in the countries of the global North and the global South. These projects of different sizes and shapes tackle a wide range of housing issues. From the very beginning, the focus has been not only on the identification of good housing practices but also in the sharing of knowledge and experience to others who can transfer them in their own situations. The first international study visit in a World Habitat Award project winner was in 1987 and the visits have continued ever since.

Award Presentation

The World Habitat Awards are presented each year in partnership with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). Historically the awards have been presented on World Habitat Day, which is organised in October each year by UN-Habitat, providing a unique opportunity to focus attention on the importance of shelter in people's lives.

As of 2014, the awards will be presented in April of each year at the World Urban Forum (even years) and UN-Habitat Governing Council (odd years), providing opportunities for international exposure, networking and dissemination of the award winning approaches.

How to Enter?

Submissions are welcomed for the 2016/17 World Habitat Awards. 

Housing projects and approaches are sought that

  • demonstrate practical, innovative and sustainable solutions to current housing issues faced by countries all around the world
  • can be transferred or adapted for use as appropriate
  • are already being implemented or are completed ie not at design stage or very early stages of development
  • view the term habitat from a broad perspective and bring other benefits as well, such as energy or water saving, income generation, social inclusion, community and individual empowerment, health benefits, capacity building or education.

All entries are assessed and ten projects are shortlisted by an assessment committee. These shortlisted projects are then evaluated by an independent advisory group. 

Evaluation visits are made to some of the shortlisted projects before recommendations are put forward to a panel of external judges, including the Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT).

Areas of Submission:

Provision of low-cost, affordable housing for low-income households

Environmentally sustainable housing


  • Development/use of sustainable building materials and technologies
  • Provision of resource- and energy-efficient housing
  • Promotion of sustainable lifestyles in urban and/or rural areas


Restoration of existing housing

  • Restoration of areas of decayed housing and/or adaptive reuse of buildings
  • Urban/slum upgrading

Provision of housing designed to withstand natural disasters


  • Housing provision for those with special needs
  • Provision of housing for homeless people
  • Housing specifically designed to meet the needs of older persons and those with other special needs


Technical innovation

  •  Innovative design and/or construction materials
  •  The use of information and communication technologies in housing

Housing developed and managed on a cooperative or other socially sustainable basis 

Projects and processes that ensure the right to land and housing

To enter the competition please apply Online

For more information please visit the Link  



Contest Deadline : 30 Nov -0001


  • Any individual, organisation or government who has an innovative and practical solution to housing needs and problems from any country of the world.
  • More than one entry can be made by the same individual or organisation.
  • Entries should relate to housing projects and processes that are either completed or in progress. Those that are at design stage only or in the very early stages of development cannot be considered.
  • Previous entrants can re-submit in subsequent years providing that the project has been further developed in the intervening time period.

Contest Prize/Rewards

Awards of £10,000 will be made to each of the two winning projects. Trophies will also be presented to the winning projects, and travel and accommodation costs will be met for one representative of each winning project to attend the awards ceremony.

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