micro Home Solutions is now mHS city lab
mHS City Lab continues the founding principles of mHS: bringing an interdisciplinary lens of design, community and affordability that will make our cities smart, resilient and inclusive.
Why a lab? Because the world is becoming more risk averse and not experimenting enough. At mHS we’re not afraid to put our foot on the ground to test effectiveness of new concepts that have potential to be game changing.
How will we go about it? The lab will pull together a group of independent professionals from fields as diverse as architecture, design, finance, social sciences to apply themselves to find solutions locally and collectively. In our partners section, you’ll find which institutions we’ve worked with, and in peoples tab, the dedicated urban enthusiasts that have tackled different projects with us.
What’s new? After four years in India, we’re expanding our horizons beyond Indian cities. Although a big leap, we are excited to see, learn and engage with new partners from around the world.
What could be done to achieve a socially inclusive Transit- Oriented Development (TOD) in Delhi (India)? After seeing the ambitious TOD policy draft Delhi’s Master plan, we got working on a 26-hectare government owned empty plot in East Delhi, adopting both a ‘Human Centred Design’ approach and a real estate advisory lens to come out with a financially attractive but inclusive project design. The interdiscplinary study team included JLL, Oasis Design, SEWA MHT and the study was presented to UTTIPEC, Delhi Development Authority in July 2013.
Key Words: Urban design, mixed-income, mixed-use, informal settlements, human centred design, UTTIPEC
Smaller cities and towns in India don’t receive the necessary attention when we think of rapid urbanization in India. We studied the opportunity to improve housing and living conditions in the informal settlements of Ranchi – an engagement with SEWA MHT and Oak Foundation, UK.
Key words: Rajiv Awas Yojana, tribal settlements, livelihoods, sanitation, finance
mHS is collaborating with Ashoka Housing for All to develop an affordable housing ratings system. The multi-pronged system, which assesses low-income housing on the basis of affordability, community, construction quality, and sustainability, will give low-income communities a tool for making housing decisions, and also provide critical knowledge of an underserved and misunderstood market to developers seeking to enter the affordable housing space.
mHS conceptualized DHS to bring construction finance and technical assistance to households. In partnership with BASIX-BSFL, a microfinance institution, the product reached 15 families with 2-storey construction. The technical assistance ensured structural safety, better ventilation, cost estimates, and monitoring assistance to those living in highly precarious structures.
We undertook a study for the World Bank to assess quality and quantity of self-/incremental construction in India. We designed a typology framework across settlements with a variety of average household incomes, tenure/titles, and land-uses to bring analytical rigor to evaluate the opportunity of providing housing finance to households in such neighborhoods.
There are anywhere between 5-8 million homeless people in urban India. The majority of these are daily wage labourers unable to afford rental units in the slums. In partnership with a local NGO, mHS designed and constructed two modular shelters to accommodate about 150 persons per night. The project serves as a scalable model for providing sustainable, cost-effective housing to urban India's most vulnerable population.