A for-profit business with non-profit principles, a growing trend in compassionate capitalism. WorldHaus is a great example – they have a mission to help the world’s “unserved housing market.”
In India alone over 500 million people, almost half the population, want and need better housing but the average cost of materials and labor make it impossible to attain. There is no financing for the rural poor, or collateral to put up against a mortgage. WorldHaus is trying to fill this gap by manufacturing and building quality homes at a tiny fraction of standard costs, specifically developing a model that can be made affordable to the global poor.
Started in 2011, in India, WorldHaus makes customizable, weatherproof homes that can include amenities like clean burning stoves, toilets, and solar electricity systems. Using a modular building system, families can build to any size and configuration they want. The base model – a one-room, 220 square foot home – can be built in about 10 days at a starting cost of below $2,000. Using local materials and on-site construction stimulates local economies through purchasing and employment, and cuts costs as well.
Additionally, they are working with mortgage providers to make homes available at $40/month, well within the reach for people making even $3 to $10 a day. They are setting up partnerships with governments, NGOs, and landlords to try and make homes available to families making less than $2 a day (through subsidies and rental programs).
A video from the Gate’s Notes website shows Bill Gates visiting Idealab and interviewing WorldHaus President Daniel Gross. WorldHaus was generated inside Idealab – a think tank and development project for innovative products.
– Mary Purcell