Can a company provide decent housing for citizens at low cost?
Chototel (meaning small hotel) provides super-budget hotels, where tariffs start from US$2 per day, in response to the need to provide adequate, dignified housing solutions in a market that fails to cater to those at the bottom. Endeavoring to be a catalyst to end homelessness, it provides housing options in an environmentally sustainable and economically viable manner.
Households all over the world struggle with affordability, with families often living in substandard accommodation that may be overcrowded or simply inadequate. According to the McKinsey (2014) blueprint for addressing the global affordable housing challenge, 330 million urban households today, around the world, live in substandard housing or are financially stretched by housing costs. Furthermore, $9-11 trillion is the estimated cost to replace today’s substandard housing and build additional houses needed by 2025, fuelled by trends in urban migration and income growth.
Cheaper, quicker, greener. The construction methodology used to build accomodation allows Chototel to deliver its vision. Owed to its steel frame, no bricks and wood are needed, saving carbon, soil erosion and trees. Its insulation removes the need for heating or cooling and it is calamity resistant to protect against natural disasters. Technology ensures the use of local labour and also keeps renewable energy consumption low.
A design for one of the Chototel projects in India. Credit: Chototel
Internet of Things (IoT) technology fitted into every room at a Chototel allows for real-time monitoring of utilities, security, and occupancy control, including check-in/out facilities. This allows for centralised and remote management of Chototels, minimising operating costs by reducing human input. Where human input is required, self-help groups consisting of elected residents – often women – play a central role in community management, helping with safety and affordability.
This story shows how Chototel supports Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, specifically Target 11.1: “By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums.”
Chototel is a response to the need to provide quality and dignified housing solutions in a global market that fails to cater to those at the bottom of the pyramid. Formed from the words “chotu” – meaning small in both Hindi and Japanese – and “hotel,” Chototel provides clean, safe and affordable accommodation.
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