What is the SHP Fund?
Homes form a big part of wellness. To achieve domestic, psychological, and financial stability, I believe that society needs good housing which connects citizens through a holistic vision. It is for this reason that the Specialised Housing Programme Fund was designed to address the current social and cultural shifts that are brought about by the challenges of the 21st century. A good way to engage with such contemporary challenges of demographic shifts is to facilitate a positive sense of wellbeing through the realms of the domestic and the built environment. This is because having a stable home is one of the key elements to happiness.
In order, to address the complexities of social and political life these programmes are responding to a wider holistic and long-term vision which is seeking to implement good housing. What is unique to these programmes is that they are seeking to promote a new approach to housing provision namely through the combination of inclusive domestic design and specialised service provision. At the core of the implementation process is the collaboration with different stakeholders – non-governmental organisations and the Chamber of Architects. For the first time in Malta, the state is organising a Design Competition where NGOs will have the opportunity to present their projects to interested architects. Based on such a ‘brief’, architects will provide designs that will revolve around the needs of the user-group.
Through such inclusive designs, the allocated sites for the SHP Fund will be designed differently. They will include the social dimension in its planning phase, alongside the economic, environmental and governance dimensions from the start which is often a lower priority in urban development. This will ensure that the needs of the specific user-group are at the core of the design and its service provision. This approach is innovative in the sense that design choice, no matter how small-scale it is, will from the very beginning incorporate the social dimension, as this can greatly influence individuals’ interactions with one another, and facilitate a positive sense of wellbeing.