Rob Katz

Changemakers Contest – How to Provide Affordable Housing

Changemakers HousingChangemakers is at it again. Loyal NextBillionites might remember that Changemakers is an innovation-recognition initiative of Ashoka, the award-winning social entrepreneurship incubator. CM runs contests awarding the best entrepreneurs in a given sector–previous competitions have included How to Improve Health for All and How to Build a More Ethical Society–and the winners each receive $5,000 cash prizes. Talk about incentives!

The latest contest is called How to Provide Affordable Housing, and the contest organizers are eager for more entrants. To be eligible, an organization must be doing actual, on-the-ground work in affordable housing. Winners will be judged based on four factors: innovation, impact, strategy, and sustainability. Take a look at the assessment criteria here. The entry form is relatively straightforward–I’d say it takes about an hour to complete from start to finish.There are only 7 entries in the competition, and just one of them comes from outside North America. This serves to leave the contest wide open for new entrants such as N?Kozi Homes or Tecamac, just two initiatives featured on NextBillion that deal with affordable housing.

UPDATE: Changemakers just posted a great story to their web site, Slum Residents Becoming Architects of Their Own Fate by Arundhati Ray. Check it out–a great example of a successful model.

Please contact Changemakers directly for more information about the contest, which closes September 6. Entries are being discussed by the CM online community. On September 6, entries will be judged by a panel of experts, who select finalists. Winners will be selected by members of the CM online community starting September 27 and ending October 11, and will be announced October 12.

(Thanks Karin Hillhouse and Kris Herbst for their help putting this together!)