Intersecting across the majority of the Sustainable Development Goals is the implicit understanding of the need for affordable housing, particularly in reference to the 11th Goal, addressing Sustainable Cities & Communities. Despite the fact that the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes decent housing as a basic human right, from Mumbai to New York, London to Lagos, the increasing unaffordability of housing is a growing challenge to cities and nations. According to forecasts from the McKinsey Global Institute 1.6 billion people – one third of urban humanity – will be in crowded, inadequate or unsafe housing, or struggling to make housing payments by 2025. By the same year, 2.4 million extra homes will be needed annually to satisfy affordable housing demand in the world’s 20 largest cities, it says.
Delivering an innovative approach to community housing solutions to address the rising global need for affordable housing has never been more necessary. Developers need to become more productive and innovative to meet this surging demand, quickly, cost-efficiently, and on a large scale. Moreover, the housing industry would need to cut costs by about 30 per cent to deliver a standard unit in a multi-family building that would meet affordability requirements too.
The global affordable housing space has no clear market leader, as it’s a sector that continues to be driven and dictated by local conditions, materials and government participation particular to each country and region. Saudi venture philanthropy initiative Red Sea Affordable Housing (RSAH) was set up with this in mind, looking to fill the need for affordable housing and building sustainable communities. The organisation is based on the premise that building affordable housing presents a golden opportunity to create a strong business and satisfy a profound social need. RSAH is governed by Omnipreneurship, an approach that integrates three principles of Giving, Earning and Sustaining directly into the business model, ensuring meaningful and measurable positive social impact.
In addition to the domestic market, the company is looking further afield: its core regions form a significant chunk of the global affordable housing gap, sized at about $650 billion. The highlight of their services is the double bottom line effect they will deliver, resulting from profit targets for developers, and sustainable social and economic impact on local communities consequent to the development.
RSAH offers a wide range of housing solutions and services to the private and public sectors in the form of integrated communities or standalone housing neighborhoods. Structures are built using high-quality, cost-efficient, and rapid building methods, contributing to the affordability and quick delivery of a sustainable community. The housing types and sizes fit the budgets and social needs of the targeted resident segment. Construction material types include poured concrete walls built using a rapid method and vertical modular system.