Community-Led Development in The State of Housing Design 2023

Community-Led Development, The State of Housing Design 2023, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, 2023.

Video of the release event, Fri., Nov. 17, 2023, Piper Auditorium, Gund Hall, Harvard Graduate School of Design

What is the state of housing design in the US and how are architects of new single- and multi-family housing responding to issues such as the warming climate, affordability, increasing regulations and construction costs, and the demand for new unit types that better reflect today's demographic realities? These questions will be the focus of a half-day event marking the release of The State of Housing Design 2023, a new book that examines themes in housing design, explored through over 100 recent buildings in the US.

“The design of homes and apartments well tailored to the specific needs of diverse community types and user groups has the potential to transform the policy debate surrounding public financing and subsidizing of affordable housing, creating the possibility of a crucial expansion of affordable housing in the US. With its sensitivity to the habits, belief systems, lifeways, needs, and desires of constituencies throughout the country, along with its efficient construction and effective maintenance, community-led housing should rebut arguments that have long precluded an adequate supply
of homes to a substantial portion of the population ill served by the market. Twentieth-century supply-side economists traditionally saw the role of government in offering housing in the narrowest of terms, arguing that rather than directly fund supportive, affordable, social, or public housing, the government should simply lower taxes, decrease regulation, and spur the private market to produce housing based on consumer demand. By 1999, the Faircloth Amendment fully adopted this principle into national policy by making it illegal for the federal government to increase the US public housing supply. Real estate developers argued that public housing would “crowd out” the private marketplace, suppressing demand for their output. The opposite happened: a private market serving less than half the population crowded out access to capital for projects serving the rest of the public.”