World Habitat Awards 2013

Deadline: 1st November 2012
Open to: Any individual, organisation or government who has an innovative and practical solution to housing needs and problems from any country of the world
Prize: £10,000

The World Habitat Awards were established in 1985 by the Building and Social Housing Foundation as part of its contribution to the United Nations International Year of Shelter for the Homeless. Two awards are given annually to projects that provide practical and innovative solutions to current housing needs and problems. Every year an award of £10,000 is presented to each of the two winners at the annual United Nations global celebration of World Habitat Day.


Projects & approaches are sought that:

  • Demonstrate practical, innovative and sustainable solutions to current housing issues faced by countries all around the world.
  • Can be transferred or adapted for use as appropriate.
  • View the term habitat from a broad perspective and bring other benefits as well, such as energy or water saving, income generation, social inclusion, community and individual empowerment, capacity building or education.

The World Habitat Awards (WHA) competition has a two-stage entry process:

Stage I submissions need only comprise a summary of the key aspects of the project. From these preliminary submissions, ten projects are selected by an Assessment Committee to go forward to Stage II of the competition.
Stage II submissions are evaluated by an independent advisory group before being put to a panel of international judges, which includes the Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) and the Rector of the United Nations University, Tokyo. Evaluation visits are carried out to some of the projects prior to the final judging.


  • Any individual, organisation or government who has an innovative and practical solution to housing needs and problems from any country of the world.
  • More than one entry can be made by the same individual or organisation.
  • Entries should relate to housing projects and processes that are either completed or in progress. Those that are at design stage only or in the very early stages of development cannot be considered.
  • Previous entrants can re-submit in subsequent years providing that the project has been further developed in the intervening time period.

Entry procedure

In order to apply for this contest, it is necessary to fill in the online application form.

At Stage I, submissions should comprise a concise description of the key aspects of the project or approach, accompanied by images where possible. Full plans, costings and evaluation reports are not required at this stage, although may be supplied if you wish to do so (the main headings under which information should be supplied are set out on the entry form). If you would like to submit to Stage I of the WHA 2013 competition, your submissions must be received by 1st November 2012. (All Stage I submissions may be submitted in English, Spanish or French).

Detailed information about the application procedure can be found here.   


As well as international recognition, awards of £10,000 will be made to each of the two winning projects. Trophies will also be presented to the winning projects, and travel and accommodation costs will be met for one representative of each winning project to attend the awards ceremony.

The official website

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