33 marginalised families in Maharashtra will celebrate Diwali in their new homes thanks to an energy efficient housing project designed by housing non-profit Habitat for Humanity India in partnership with SELCO Foundation. 8 homeowners hailing from Vangani (Thane district) have at least one visually impaired person while 25 families belong to the tribal community in Karjat (Raigad district). The homes were handed over to the families in a dedication ceremony at Vangani on 2nd November 2021.

All the homes are energy efficient and have been built using environment friendly construction material thereby minimising the impact of climate change. The home design incorporates optimal use of sunlight within the homes, adequate ventilation and improved insulation that protects the families from harsh weather conditions. Further, solar energy is integrated into the housing units to help reduce electricity consumption. The homes are designed by SELCO Foundation in partnership with Habitat for Humanity India.

“In times when the world is facing the critical issue of climate change, it has become the need of the hour to focus on climate-friendly, yet affordable housing solutions. Resilient and energy-efficient housing, can contribute to both the immediate security and long-term well-being of families while reducing a home’s environmental impact. We thank SELCO Foundation for partnering with us in this innovative project, and helping us build a dignified and sustainable space that families can now call their home,” stated Dr. Rajan Samuel, Managing Director, Habitat for Humanity India.

“The climate crisis is at the doorstep. Poor families have been facing and will continue to face the brunt of climate impacts. Rising temperatures and increased frequencies of cyclones pushes us to relook at the ‘home’ as a critical safety net. Solutions co-designed by the families at Vangani and Karjat encompass the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7, thermal comfort, household well-being, increased productivity and climate resilience through the design of their homes. Habitat for Humanity India and SELCO Foundation are pleased to launch the first net zero homes in Maharashtra,” stated Huda Jaffer, Director, SELCO Foundation.