Shelter Associates (SA) was founded in 1994 as a Non-Profit Organization with a passion for ensuring equitable access to essential services for the underserved. SA follows a Data-driven, Multistakeholder approach to designing and implementing community-centric solutions around Sanitation and Social housing issues. SA has been Recognized nationally and internationally as a pioneer in using spatial data for Urban Development. 


An India where every citizen has access to basic infrastructure and secure tenure, leading to equal distribution of rights.


To empower communities living in informal settlements to pursue their right to dignity and an elevated quality of life.

Core Values

  • Dignity
  • Quality work
  • Honesty
  • Innovation
  • Team work
  • Collaboration

Awards & Recognitions

Won Aarohan Social Innovation award for OHOT under women empowerment category

Won Women Icons Leading Swacchata (WINS) award for Pune and Navi Mumbai

SA Founder-Executive Director, Pratima Joshi awarded INDUSEM’s ‘Samajik Abhiyantrik Sanmaan’

Recognized as one out of 20 ‘most powerful women’ as per Forbes India

Recipient of LPC Honor Award at the U.N. -Habitat World Urban Forum 10 in Abu Dhabi

Winner of ISC-FICCI Awards 2018 for innovative use of data

Winner of NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum 2017 under the ‘Environment’ category

Winner of HUDCO Awards for Best Practices in Sanitation(with PMC)

Winner of the Times Network ‘Degital Social Innovation’ award

Winner of HUDCO Awards for Best Practices in Sanitation(with PMC)

Winner of the Times Network ‘Digital Social Innovation’ award

Winner of NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum 2017 under the ‘Environment’ category

Meet the Governing body

Arun Kadekodi - Colour

Arun Kadekodi



Pratima Joshi



Supriya Vaidya





Registration of Shelter Associates under Registration Act

Implemented it’s 1st social housing project at Dattawadi, Pune

Pioneered GIS aided city-wide mapping in country for slums across Pune

Implemented it’s 2nd Housing Project at Kamgaar Putala, Pune

Initiated the 1st citywide housing project under IHSDP in Sangli, Maharashtra

Launched the ‘One Home One Toilet’ model for facilitation of individual household toilets

Initiated project ‘Plus Code’ in collaboration with Google India

Provided COVID-19 relief for the slum residents in 7 cities of Maharashtra

Slum Rehabilitation Project of Bondre Nagar, Kolhapur to head start

Registration details

Shelter Associates (SA) is a registered Society/ Trust, Society Registration No. Mah/8401-94/Pune. SA has a valid FCRA certificate until 30th September 2028

From discussions with the community and Government officials, the founders quickly realized two things – The available slum data was inconclusive and disjointed with the ground realities. There is a need to involve the communities in designing interventions meant for them. This led to the development of SA’s theory of change which is data-driven and community-centric.
A year of continuous efforts and iterations in the late ’90s resulted in a well-tailored Geographical Information System (GIS). A team of trained GIS started slum mapping, creating spatial layouts of the collected socio-economic and infrastructure data. Soon we undertook citywide poverty mapping under Pune Municipal Corporation and pioneered the use of spatial data and technology for developing evidence-based interventions in Maharashtra.
The best demonstration of our approach has been leveraging spatial data for our One Home One Toilet (OHOT) project through which we have delivered 26,000 household toilets on a cost-sharing basis in various slums across 7 cities of Maharashtra. This project became our flagship initiative which has vastly improved the sanitation and health of 1.5 lakh slum dwellers.
As architects, SA founders believe that a quality built-in environment has great potential to affect social change. With this thought, the team worked passionately towards an important milestone – the first social housing project at Dattawadi, Pune in 1996-97. The project was unique since the community women were made in charge of ensuring that their homes were built. This approach set a precedent for all our future projects – that of a holistic process of designing and including the community in every step of the project. Today a live slum redevelopment project at Bondre Nagar in Kolhapur is setting an example of being a unique Beneficiary Led Construction under Government’s PMAY housing scheme.
In the last 3 decades, we have directly impacted 4 lakh, slum dwellers, across 650 slums in Maharashtra. This was possible only by bringing various Urban Local Bodies and community people on the same platform. Using the objective strength of data and sensitivity lent by deep community engagement, we create a level playing field where multiple stakeholders can easily collaborate to achieve a shared vision. This changes the power dynamic and the communities become equal partners in this continuously evolving story of urban development.

Shelter Associates

SA was founded by architects in 1994 with a passion to ensure equitable access to essential services for the urban poor. SA follows a data-driven, multistakeholder approach to designing and implementing community-centric solutions around sanitation and social housing issues. Know More

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