Affordable Housing Option in India for less than Rs.20,000 is Now a Reality

Can you build a house with just $300 (less than Rs18,000)? If your answer is the predictable ‘no’, read on for a ‘second opinion’. The ‘three-hundred-dollar’ (THD) house has become a reality, thanks to Tamil Nadu born Vijay Govindarajan, the globally celebrated innovator-strategist and Professor of International Business at the Tuck School at Dartmouth, USA. He teamed up with friends to evolve the prototype for the $300 eco-friendly house that could be built for the poor anywhere in the world. Find it interesting? Read on to for a chance to view the prototype…

Explaining the THD concept in a video-post, Prof Govindarajan said the living conditions of slum-dwellers in Chennai during his college days haunted him. He discussed with friend Christian Sarkar the idea of creating affordable housing for such people in a blog post of the Harvard Business Review in 2010. Responses poured in.

The THD team also visited villages in Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to speak to the poor on their needs. They short-listed 16 of the 300 models studied and the winners are now building prototype houses.

A typical THD house would be about 500 sq ft with two rooms, a kitchen and toilet, built with mostly locally available raw materials such as bamboo, clay and coir, besides cheap recyclable stuff like plastics, rubber tubes and even broken cement sheets. The use of brick-mortar will be very minimal.

In fact, one THD prototype will be displayed at Chennai at the 10-day Indo-German Urban Mela that begins August 24. Goethe institute director Karl Pechatscheck and senior project manager Ketaki Golatkar told that the prototype would be an eye-catcher.

“Deutsche Bank is setting up the THD pavilion. It will encourage hundreds of young minds to explore possibilities in sustainable and affordable housing,” they said.

Catch the Prototype at  


A travelling festival across 5 metropolitans in India, is now headed to Chennai. For 10 days, be a part of wide-range activities, shows, exhibitions, enjoy the cultural programmes taking place every day and savour the German delicacies at the Cafe Mela.


YMCA College of Physical Education, Nandanam, Chennai, India


August 24 2012 to September 2 2012


10 A M to 10 PM

Posted on August 13, 2012, in Editors Corner and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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