The $300 House concept was first described by Vijay Govindarajan and Christian Sarkar in a blog post on the Harvard Business Review website.
The project started with five simple questions:
- How can organic, self-built slums be turned into livable housing?
- What might a house-for-the-poor look like?
- How can world-class engineering and design capabilities be utilized to solve the problem?
- What reverse-innovation lessons might be learned by the participants in such a project?
- How could the poor afford to buy this house?
The goal is to design, build, and deploy a simple dwelling which keeps a family safe from the weather, allows them to sleep at night, and gives them a little bit of dignity. If we can give the poor a chance to live safely and build an inclusive ecosystem of services around them which includes, clean water, sanitation, health services, family planning, education, and micro enterprise, maybe we can start reducing the disease of poverty. By helping create this ecosystem, we believe companies can make money while providing services needed by the poor at an affordable cost.