Housing Solutions Serving Low-Income Populations: A Framework for Action
31 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2007
Date Written: March 2007
More than one billion of the world's urban residents live in inadequate housing, mostly in slums and squatter settlements of the developing world. Many governments cannot afford to heavily subsidize the capital-intensive housing sector with the hope of solving the housing shortage. As a result, the most important players in low-income housing delivery are often the poor themselves. Concurrently, there are an increasing number of visionary business leaders that have started to serve these markets profitiably and with social impact. We argue that these trends provide the right environment for an unprecedented level of business-social congruence to address this central challenge. The first part of this paper will briefly discuss the inadequacy of current housing value chains while the second will highlight innovative housing solutions from both social entrepreneurs and corporations. Last, we will conclude by elaborating on the concept and need for Hybrid Value Chains, defined as highly leveraged and commercially sustainable business-social partnerships, in transforming the way housing services are delivered to the poor.
Keywords: social entrepreneurship, hybrid value chain, corporate social responsibility, bottom of the pyramid, affordable housing, ashoka
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