HONG KONG, January 19, 2017 ─ For the first time, applications are being accepted for the ‘INNOVATE.SHELTER’ competition, a new Asia-Pacific Housing Forum initiative to identify and advance original solutions to tackling housing issues in the region. Organizations or individuals implementing innovative, scalable, projects will be selected and profiled at the 6th Asia-Pacific Housing Forum, held in Hong Kong from 4 to 7 September 2017.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for smaller civil society or grassroots organizations to showcase their innovative successes, solving housing issues in local communities. Selected projects will be presented at the Asia-Pacific Housing Forum, opening up doors for funding or partnership opportunities,” said Rick Hathaway, Asia-Pacific vice president of Habitat for Humanity. “One of the main strengths of the Asia-Pacific Housing Forum has always been to promote scalable, affordable, housing solutions in the region. The INNOVATE.SHELTER competition is a great way to recognize institutions that are thinking out of the box, lifting people out of poverty through shelter, often with very limited resources.”

In line with the Housing Forum’s ‘Technology for affordable housing’ track, submissions to the competition are encouraged to focus on how their work captures and implements technology and innovation in the provision of housing. “The sustainable use of materials and resources, the adoption of technology for community engagement, mapping and allocation of safe space for housing in urban and rural contexts and the adoption of new people-centered design trends and approaches for low-income communities are just some examples of initiatives that we want to promote with this competition. By doing that we can raise awareness about different ways to tackle housing issues, illustrate how decent housing improves lives and promote sustainable development,” said David Dalgado, Shelter and Settlements Coordinator for Asia-Pacific at International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, one of the Forum’s strategic partners.

Organizations will be evaluated based on their innovative approach to housing challenges, project’s inclusiveness, capacity to engage partners from different sectors, sustainability and potential to be replicated within different sectors, contexts or populations. Submissions will be shortlisted by a Habitat for Humanity panel and the finalists selected by the Housing Forum’s Steering Committee. The ten most innovative projects selected will be showcased in a catalogue distributed to all Forum attendees.

Organizations or individuals responsible for implementing the top three ranked projects will be invited to attend the Asia-Pacific Housing Forum in Hong Kong and be a panel speaker at one of the breakout sessions, with their accommodation expenses covered. They will also be provided with an exhibition space and receive special recognition at a networking dinner, attended by more than 300 delegates attending the Housing Forum.

Those interested in taking part in the competition can download the application form from the Housing Forum’s website – aphousingforum.org. Deadline for submissions is February 13, 2017 and winning organizations will be notified by April 17, 2017.

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