• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Introducing Dokkio, a new service from the creators of PBworks. Find and manage the files you've stored in Dropbox, Google Drive, Gmail, Slack, and more. Try it for free today.


Affordable Housing

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 2 months ago

Affordable Housing




Creating Small Homes in and of the Earth

Like Malcolm Wells proposes:

(see www.malcolmwells.com)


Create a new culture of nature that encourages people to live in the land, not on it.


Encourage a situated inquiry


that gets us away from the limited models for social housing we have so far (described in the table below):


Community development paradigmGrassroots community developmentNon-profit developmentFor-profit developmentHousing Authority
DescriptionInitiatives that address poverty and homelessness through collecting donations of shelter and food for distribution to impoverished individuals.Non-profit societies solicit private donations and grants from foundations and government to buy land and build non-market housing.Local government cooperates with willing developers to create non-market housing.A group is commissioned by local government to oversee problem and suggest or implement strategies for Salt Spring Island.
AimTo weave rich and poor together in a caring community network of obligation and respectTo create Community Housing using a deed-restricted ownership model.To supply deed-restricted social housing while making profit for developers.To suggest, oversee and implement housing policies.
ShadowCommunity developed as an alibi for dismantling the welfare state.Treats homelessness as an individual problem, not a systemic social problem.The poor are not empowered with economic leverage of standard home ownership. In these scenarios, the poor remain poor.“…strategic planning … [often] is unimaginative, reflective of local prejudices, and likely to emphasize the ‘unique’ aspects of the local community in self-congratulatory rhetoric” (Sirolli, 1999, p. 115)


These scenarios all employ land use trajectories that create the problem in order to address the problem. We need a sustained inquiry into the culture that creates the crisis, in order to allow for the possibility of transformation.



Invite artists in to the dialogue.


Here are some solutions artists have posed:


“What would be the results if affordable and sustainable design became an important goal for communities, city housing services, and housing developers across the country? What might happen if well-designed homes for low- and moderate-income families flourished in established, even affluent, neighbourhoods? Could well-designed houses that use environmentally friendly materials and methods be better not only for the planet but for the families that inhabit them? These are some of the questions raised by The HOME House Project: The Future of Affordable Housing, presented by the Weisman Art Museum, January 28 through April 30, 2006.”



Eugene Tsui creates designs for affordable homes built from recycled materials at minimal cost, along with designs for cities of the future.

He writes, "Yes my friends, now is the time in history where we must take a risk for humanity. A risk for all living things. A risk to work with nature not against it. This is what we need today. Not men and women concerned with the image of themselves. But men and women willing to ask what will happen to the world if I do not help. What will happen to the world if we let it erode away by the misuse of human ingenuity and freedom? Somehow we must break this chain of hate, arrogance and conformity in this world." http://www.tdrinc.com/media.html


Krzysztof Wodiczko worked with homless people in New York to design The Homeless Vehicle.

There is a significant group of homeless who work day and night collecting bottles and cans. The Homeless Vehicle can be used both for personal shelter and can/bottle storage. Through the increasing presence and mobility of this object it works as both communication and transport, articulating the real conditions of work and life and the resistance of this group. http://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/archives/007768.php



Other Approaches


“What do a casket factory, a glass factory and a high-tech laboratory have in common? All are former industrial buildings that have been transformed into high-quality housing for low-income people.” http://www.mas.org/viewarticle.php?id=1509



Seabird Island Project



“This unique multi-family development combines some of the latest concepts in housing construction and design, including renewable energy sources (wind, solar and geo-thermal heating).... The project also honours and reflects Aboriginal social values and design. All seven units were funded under the guidelines of CMHC's On-Reserve Housing Program, which is designed to provide quality, affordable rental housing on-reserve.

Expected to last for 100 years, the homes will offer residents and the Seabird Island community a lifetime of reduced maintenance and significant savings in heating and operating costs. The high performance building envelope, combined with renewable energy systems, is expected to reduce energy use by 75% when compared to a typical home."


CMHC offers a one-day Sustainable Community, Housing Design Workshop. Contact: Allan Dobie, adobie@cmhc-schl.gc.ca



Link Education and Housing


Satish Kumar on Small School:


“We also decided that we would like our school to teach about three basic things that every person needs. One of these needs is food. Hardly any school in the UK teaches you how to grow, cook or serve food, or how to clean the dishes.... Today, hardly any schools teach children how to lay a foundation, how to build a roof, and the basics of plumbing and electrical wiring. At The Small School, we included these practical hands-on skills.” http://www.resurgence.org/resurgence/issues/kumarschool226.htm


Housing as Community Economic Development


“Although shelter is one of the basic human needs, access to it is almost completely controlled by the marketplace. CED recognizes the importance of affordable housing as a primary component of a healthy community. It’s no wonder that creating and maintaining community-based housing is a major CED theme.

This chapter features Entre Nous Femmes (ENF), a non-profit housing society dedicated to providing safe and affordable housing geared to female-led, single-parent families. The story is told through the personal experience of Kathy Zazulyk and her son, Robert.” http://www.sfu.ca/cscd/gateway/sharing/intro2.htm


INBY Development (In My Back Yard)


In addition to focusing on town-based infill depevelopment, the concept of affordable infill in existing neighbourhoods could de-homogenize those neighbourhoods as well. In existing neighbourhoods with vacant lots within walking distance of main arteries we could “infill” all the housing necessary to accommodate the burgeoning need, in a variety of architectural sizes and shapes, single family houses to multiple unit coops, condos, and apartments. See a dialogue on this option in the Islands Institute Cafe: http://www.flickr.com/groups/islandsinstitutecafe/discuss/72157594410044758/

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.