Gimme (customizable) shelter: pop-up modular homeless housing project tailor-made for each community
Assembled from containers placed within a scaffolding net, WE Architecture's Jagtevj 69 aims to create alluring public space while simultaneously providing temporary housing for the homeless.The proposal stresses that it's a temporary solution; by creating a variety of different spaces for... View full entry
Multnomah County to test backyard-granny flats program in hopes to ease Portland's homelessness crisis
Under the terms of the project, [Multnomah County] would build the granny flats and homeowners would get to keep them—a substantial property upgrade. In return, a homeowner would commit to a five-year lease of the backyard structure to a homeless family, without pocketing any rent.
"We're taking risks," says Mary Li, director of the Multnomah Idea Lab, a county policy center. "My hope is, we prove this concept, and we do 300 of these in the next 12 months."
— Willamette Week
As the homelessness crisis worsens in Portland, city and Multnomah County officials are under pressure to find solutions. One pilot project the county will test out is “A Place for You”, wherein the county would offer to essentially pay homeowners to build them a roughly 200-square-foot in... View full entry
Inside San Francisco's complex relationship with homelessness
In this historically researched and nuanced piece for The New York Times, Daniel Duane examines the conflicted attitude of San Franciscans--and Californians in general--toward homelessness, immigration, and the problems of housing density. He notes that despite the state's fame for its... View full entry
Colorado governor proposes building affordable housing from marijuana tax revenue, mainly to address issues from marijuana legalization
A proposal by Gov. John Hickenlooper to direct marijuana revenue toward building affordable housing and curbing homelessness offers a glimpse into the potential the new revenue can have on public services and projects...To the chagrin of pro-marijuana activists, Hickenlooper believes there is a correlation between homelessness, a need for affordable housing and substance abuse, including impacts from marijuana legalization.
— The Gazette
Gov. Hickenlooper requested $18.3 million ($16.3 million from marijuana taxes and $2.0 million from the General Fund) toward affordable housing as part of his FY 2017-18 State budget this past November. The Gazette reports that Hickenlooper and his administration “are hesitant to acknowledge... View full entry
Homelessness decreased this year in the US, but increased in cities including LA
Accurately tracking a population that has no permanent home has always been a challenge for those who attempt to put together figures on homelessness. Many studies elect to count transients one night each year in order to create some form of consistency. Using that method, a study by the... View full entry
Finland has greatly reduced its homeless population — here's how
Finland is the only European country where homelessness has decreased in recent years. At the end of 2015 the number of single homeless people was for the first time under 7,000 and this number includes people living temporarily with friends and relatives, who constitute 80% of all homeless people [...]
The main explanation for this success is quite simple: when the national programme started housing first was adopted as a mainstream national homelessness policy.
— the Guardian
The housing first model is quite simple: when people are homeless, you give them housing first – a stable home, rather than progressing them through several levels of temporary and transitional accommodation.In related news:How 4 US cities are applying architectural solutions to... View full entry
Inside the failure of Jerry Brown's plans to ease California's housing crisis
Despite introducing what seemed like excellent legislation to help increase the number of affordable housing units in developer-backed housing projects, California governor Jerry Brown's proposal caused so much multi-faceted angst it became political poison, primarily because it gently... View full entry
Architecture in the age of transparent hostility
With the growing trend towards hostile architecture now openly admitting its political incentives, are we in an age of transparent hostility? [...]
Whereas other instances of hostile architecture are marked by their deliberate obscurity, the Camden Bench was developed, constructed and deployed in plain sight, making it an all too visible reminder of persistent negligence, raising the question: will hostile architecture become an accepted feature of the built environment?
Related stories in the Archinect news:Amid London's austerity measures, "defensive design" becomes even more hostileLAPD directs officers to treat homeless people “with compassion” in new vague policyArchitecture of paranoia View full entry
LAPD directs officers to treat homeless people “with compassion” in new vague policy
The Los Angeles Police Commission approved a new policy directing LAPD officers to treat homeless people with “compassion and empathy.”
The policy was meant to be a broad statement – a “philosophy more than it is the nuts and bolts,” [Cmdr Todd] Chamberlain recently told police commissioners. More specifics will come in future directives, he added.
But the new statement [unsurprisingly] was met with some skepticism from homeless advocates.
— Los Angeles Times
“Gary Blasi, a retired UCLA law professor who studies homelessness, said it would take more than a policy to improve interactions between officers and those living on the city’s streets. To do that, he said, the city should limit laws that unfairly criminalize situations involving homeless... View full entry
Portland responds to homelessness crisis by temporarily allowing 'rough sleeping' on sidewalks and in parks
Portland has embarked on a gentler approach – letting the homeless bunk down on city sidewalks or pitch tents on public rights of way during evening hours, with the understanding they pack up and move out by 7 a.m.
The city's "safe sleep policy" is aimed at breaking up the homeless encampments where crime and drug use can fester by allowing people to sleep in public places and sidewalks without fear of being harassed by authorities.
More on the homelessness crisis throughout the US:Increasing development translates to more homeless housingHomes of the homeless, seized: L.A. cracks down on free housing"It’s about recognizing someone as existing": Photo exhibit depicts L.A.'s homelessness crisisBay Area media ban together for... View full entry
Increasing development translates to more homeless housing
When Amazon donated an empty South Lake Union hotel for use as a homeless shelter, it was investing in a model that Mary’s Place, the service provider, has perfected: turning vacant or transitioning buildings into temporary shelter.
According to decades of research conducted on real-life case studies, providing housing for the homeless is actually cheaper than not doing so. Thriving real estate markets also make it easier to provide permanent shelter, as noted in the article:It’s perhaps counterintuitive, but Executive... View full entry
Bay Area media ban together for homelessness advocacy
Next month, media organizations in the Bay Area are planning to put aside their rivalries and competitive instincts for a day of coordinated coverage on the homeless crisis in the city. [...]
“We want the full force of the Fourth Estate to bear down on this problem” [...]
“You will not be able to log onto Facebook, turn on the radio, watch TV, read a newspaper, log onto Twitter without seeing a story about the causes and solutions to homelessness”
A fascinating effort in "solutions-oriented journalism", coordinating efforts across 30 media organizations to fully devote one day of coverage to the Bay Area's homelessness problem. While some organizations will report on the issue as they otherwise might, others will propose direct hypotheses... View full entry
LA's homeless population has increased by 11% in a single year
Homelessness increased in the last year in the city and county of Los Angeles, leaving nearly 47,000 people in the streets and shelters despite an intensive federal push that slashed the ranks of homeless veterans by nearly a third, according to figures released Wednesday by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
— the Los Angeles Times
"Nearly two-thirds of the homeless people tallied countywide, or 28,000, were in the city of Los Angeles, representing an 11% jump in January from a year earlier, a report from the agency stated. The county's homeless population grew 5.7%."For more on Los Angeles' devastating... View full entry
Miniature manhole rooms highlight reality of Bucharest's underground dwellers
Borderlife is a street art intervention by Biancoshock in which three abandoned manholes in Milan’s Lodi district have been transformed into miniature dwellings. [...]
With Borderlife the street artist wants to make us aware about the distressing living conditions of many fellow humans who are forced to live in confined spaces, especially manholes. He got his inspiration from the reportedly hundreds of people that are occupying manholes and sewer systems in the Romanian capital Bucharest.
Images of the BORDERLIFE street art intervention via Biancoshock's website.Related stories in the Archinect news:Giant "calligraffiti" mural unites community in Cairo slumSubterranean theme park: photographer Richard John Seymour captures the new life inside an ancient Transylvanian salt mineWith... View full entry
Nation's first combined housing complex for LGBT youth and seniors coming to Hollywood
A first-in-the-nation complex to be built in Hollywood would house about 200 LGBT seniors and young adults on the same campus.
Lorrie Jean, CEO of the the Los Angeles LGBT Center, which is building the $100 million complex, calls the two generation groups "the two most vulnerable parts of our community."
Related stories in the Archinect news:As "gayborhoods" gentrify, LGBTQ people move into conservative AmericaHomes of the homeless, seized: L.A. cracks down on free housingToilets for everyone: the politics of inclusive design View full entry