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World Habitat Awards recognize urban housing pioneers

Members of the team behind the Caño Martín Peña Community Land Trust in Puerto Rico, a winner of this year's World Habitat Award.

Organizations that help the urban poor move into affordable housing are the winners of the 2015-16 World Habitat Awards.

Two of the winners help cities in the north of England, while the third aids slum dwellers in San Juan, Puerto Rico. All three pioneer innovative ways to provide low-cost dwellings to vulnerable populations, the announcement says. The winners will receive their awards at the UN’s Habitat III conference in Quito this October.

The U. K. housing charities Canopy and Giroscope share one of the awards. Their focus is on “self-help housing”: teaching the homeless to renovate vacant, run-down properties. Refugees, migrants and women escaping violence have found housing this way, and learned new skills that can lead to job opportunities. More than 100 U. K. groups have launched similar programs modeled on the efforts of both charities.

The third winner is the Caño Martín Peña Community Land Trust in Puerto Rico. The community trust aims to address a worrisome problem in developing cities: displacement of the downtrodden. The group is revitalizing an informal settlement along a major waterway through the city by creating housing that the poor can afford.  

Explore Citiscope’s comprehensive coverage of the leadup to the Habitat III conference here

World Habitat Awards

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