Ashoka Affordable Housing Ratings

mHS collaborated 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.

The context

Currently more than 90% of the Indian urban labor force is composed of informal sector workers and micro entrepreneurs. To meet the large housing demands of our time and achieve genuine impact, new market‐based solutions must be generated. We need to build millions of homes which are affordable, habitable and accessible to low-income customers. To achieve this affordable, habitable and accessible product, Ashoka along with TUV-Rheinland, is developing a standard process of certifying affordable housing for the BOP customers. They have asked mHS to develop parameters that deal with the community aspect of the ratings system.

Why certification?

The certifications are envisioned to be a tool which can influence the affordable housing landscape over a long period of time. After developing the standards, the system will be launched under an independent entity, The Housing Council. Low-income families could use the ratings system as a quick but holistic guide to affordability. Meanwhile, developers who recognize the potential of the affordable housing market but lack the ability to reach these customers will find valuable market research in the ratings system.