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REELIH one of the finalists of World Habitat Awards with special mention from the judges

The World Habitat Awards (WHA), established in 1985, are the world’s leading housing awards. They are run by World Habitat (a UK based NGO) in partnership with UN-Habitat. The WHA recognize and highlight innovative, outstanding and sometimes revolutionary housing ideas, projects and programmes from across the world. More than 250 outstanding World Habitat Awards projects have been recognized over the years, demonstrating substantial, lasting improvements in living conditions.

We are proud to announce that Residential Energy in Low Income Households (REELIH) project, coordinated by Habitat for Humanity International with the support of USAID, was one of the eight finalists of the WHA 2017 from over 100 entries from across the world. REELIH was also one of the two projects that had additionally received a special mention from the judges (the second best in the global North!).

Through the REELIH project, homeowners living in formerly state-owned buildings are supported to work together to improve their homes. Many multi-apartment blocks in former Eastern Bloc countries Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia fell into widespread disrepair following mass privatization in the early 1990s. By supporting homeowner associations, we help residents to have access to loans and subsidies to carry out energy efficiency improvements to their homes. This makes heating homes more affordable, improving the health and well-being of residents.

After proving successful in Macedonia, the approach was transferred to Armenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although all three countries face similar challenges, we adopted our approach to meet different needs in the 3 countries.

The project has developed connections between individuals, homeowner associations, local governments and banks. The work has helped spread awareness about residential energy efficiency and increased the funding available to residents to improve their buildings.

Find out more about the REELIH project on

or for Bosnian

or for Armenian local pages.

See the World Habitat Awards website and 2017 winners and finalists, as well as their blog post - Why Armenia’s REELIH project is worth making a noise about.


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