Urban Think Tank Empower Shack

Urban ThinkTank

The Empower Shack Project was developed by Urban Think Tank in collaboration with Ikhayalami. It is a low cost housing solution in response to South Africa’s informal settlements and housing shortage. It is on its pilot phase focusing within BT Section of Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

Product description Brand name and product description

The Empower Shack is an upgraded informal settlement dwelling designed by Urban Think Tank in collaboration with Ikhayalami.  It is made out of easily available material, such as wood and iron sheeting, and can be self-built. It has two storeys, but it could be expanded to three. The vertical building has a smaller footprint than typical informal houses.

The project is a low cost solution aiming to be scalable and applicable to answer South Africa’s housing shortage. It is on its pilot phase focusing within BT Section of Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

The project also focuses on developing the neighborhoods, and planning for infrastructure such as public spaces, roads and courtyards. It aims to be comprehensive, covering participatory spatial planning, ecological landscape management and integrated livelihoods programming.

*Please note that building designs are being included as “products” in the Habitat Sector of the Solutions Library to allow readers to learn from how projects were designed and constructed and how they are serving the occupants, whether effective or ineffective.

Target region(s) Target region for distribution/implementation (listed by country if specified)
Distributors/implementing organizations Organization(s) distributing/deploying this product directly to communities/individuals?"

Urban Think Tank (UTT) in partnership with Ikhayalami.

Market suggested retail price Price per unit or service price per usage/terms (USD). Subsidies noted.

An average of ZAR160,000 ($11,557.20 USD, as of August 2018). The units are subsidized at 60% of the construction cost. Some residents have Land Release Credit, which means they will pay between 0 and 30% of the construction cost if they relinquish land for the project. The percentage depends on the household choice and the previous shack house.

Competitive landscape Similar products available on the market. May not be a comprehensive listing.

The average home in the neighborhood is one storey and made of iron sheeting and wood frame. Other building materials could be used to build similar structures.

SDG targeted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targeted with this product/application/service

Goal 11: Aims to build sustainable and affordable communities.

Target user(s) Target user/consumer base (country, income segment)

People living in informal settlements or slums.

The @AutodeskFdn blogged about our how-to guide for communities writing proposals for development projects https://t.co/MlRH1H0x2F