Who We Are
Centre for Inclusive Habitat (CIHab) is a voluntary initiative that aims to empower and equip the urban poor with accurate, reliable, and relevant information about the prevalent housing interventions in their city. CIHab believes that communities’ participation in their habitat development process is non-negotiable and that tackling the information asymmetries is necessary for them to engage with the process effectively. Their active involvement can help address the pertinent questions of adequacy, affordability, and inclusivity in housing.
CIHab initiative, erstwhile known as DIY Toolkit for Community-Led Development, began with the support received by The/Nudge Centre for Social Innovation and Omidyar Network India. The founders were one of the five winners of The Equal Cities Challenge which was aimed to encourage and catapult innovative solutions that can make leapfrog improvements in the living conditions of the urban poor in India.
Rohit Lahoti is the co-founder at CIHab. With over 5 years of work experience in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Jaipur, he is an architect and an urban development practitioner – presently practicing in Mumbai. His work and publications have ranged from designing to public policy analysis along with conducting in-depth research in the informal housing space. An alumnus of University College London and a recipient of Commonwealth Scholarship, Rohit believes in a process-oriented and an interdisciplinary approach towards tackling urban development challenges in an inclusive manner. Affordable housing, land and property rights, tenure security, qualitative research methodologies, and documentary photography are his core areas of interest and expertise.
Sayali Marawar is the co-founder at CIHab. She is a mission driven social development practitioner working towards urban poverty alleviation with a strong focus on enabling access to adequate housing for the urban poor. Sayali has over 5 years of experience in working for a leading not-for-profit organisation in the low-income housing space where she has worked extensively with multiple State Governments in helping them implement housing policies and schemes. She has been on a journey spanning multiple initiatives, gathering valuable grassroots experience in the low-income housing sector (urban & rural) in India. Sayali is an alumnus of Ashoka University and Mumbai University where she studied Liberal Arts and Engineering respectively.
Aditya Hajare is an Urban Designer, strongly believes in the idea of “designing for the nature and the community.” Throughout his academic and professional career, he explores such relationships and tries to bridge the gap between the ecology, people and urban development. Currently working as an Urban Designer, Aditya also takes high interest in sketching, reading, music and travelling. With his passion and sensitive perspective, he is hopeful to make a significant contribution in making sustainable and people oriented designs.
What We Do
We at CIHab build state-wise and city-wise housing literacy platforms based on practice-based research. Using varied methodologies like policy analysis, stakeholder profiling and stakeholder consultations, we collate, analyse and synthesize critical information that the urban poor communities like slum cooperative housing societies, other community based organisations, NGOs, community representatives and other stakeholder can use to improve their awareness, and hence leverage it towards a participatory and inclusive housing development process.
Our Geographic Presence
CIHab currently has a focus in the geography of Maharashtra. Its pilot city of study has been Thane, which has been the primary reference for the development of this platform.