The issue with the median as indicator of housing affordability
The standard yardstick for judging housing affordability is to look at the median level of rents or home prices. As we all remember from statistics, the median is the observation in the middle of the distribution. And while for many purposes, it’s a reliable indicator of typical prices, in some neighborhoods, particularly those with a mix of expensive and cheap housing, the median is actually a weak indicator of affordability.
— City Observatory
"For an illustration of this problem, imagine two neighborhoods. In both places, the median home costs $300,000. But in the first neighborhood, every home costs exactly $300,000, while in the second, there are a range of homes from $100,000 to $500,000. Although both neighborhoods have the same... View full entry
Brooks + Scarpa's mixed-use complex featuring low-income housing to break ground
Adding 84,000 square feet of a custom-aluminum-facade-bearing mixed-use structure to a Metro Red Line adjacent corner of North Hollywood, Brooks + Scarpa are continuing their aesthetically pioneering work in low-income housing.The structure, deemed "NOHO on Camarillo," will defy old-school... View full entry
How New York City's luxury housing tax could finance affordable units
While President Trump talks repeatedly about fixing America’s inner cities, it’s a good bet that in the coming years, New York and other large metropolitan areas will need to be more self-reliant in solving pressing problems, especially low-income housing. [...]
Fortunately, there’s an already tested alternative: an annual luxury housing tax, levied on new high-end condos and rentals, which would feed a self-sustaining fund dedicated to develop truly affordable units.
— New York Times Op-Ed by Eric Uhlfelder
Gensler's proposed mixed-use Downtown Los Angeles tower to incorporate low-income housing
Fifty-two stories, four visually distinct sections, and one playful, gaping hole constitute the major components of Gensler's proposed new 300+ unit residential building for downtown Los Angeles, which would rise from the ashes of a (soon-to-be) former auto dealership on 1600 South Figueroa... View full entry
Javier Senosiain's low-income "bio-architecture" housing proposal
Forming a closer, more harmonious bond between humanity and nature is the underlying goal of Javier Senosiain's organic or so-called "bio-architecture." His buildings often take the shape of organic forms--in one case, mythic serpent Quetzalcoatl--while simultaneously harvesting rainwater and... View full entry
A closer look at riza3's low-cost housing plans for the homeless
Last year, the team took part in the 'Tiny Home Community' competition, set up by members of the North Carolina branch of the American Institute of Architects. The competition was asking participants to design low-cost homes with prefabricated elements, that could house the homeless folk of Raleigh, North Carolina. More than 100 architectural offices from all over the world answered the call, including some well-established companies, but first prize was eventually awarded to riza3.
Although Elemental, the firm of Pritzker Prize winning Alejandro Aravena, released plans for "incremental" low-cost housing meant to be assembled partly by individuals and partly by a larger social infrastructure, they're not the only ones with ideas for long term sustainable housing. Greek firm... View full entry
Inside Aravena's open source plans for low-cost yet upgradable housing
After Alejandro Aravena accepted the Pritzker Prize yesterday, his firm Elemental released four open source plans for low income housing that, according to the firm's website, balance the constraints of "low-rise high density, without overcrowding, with possibility of expansion (from social... View full entry
Los Angeles approves plans to tackle homelessness crisis, but funding is still unclear
In a fresh bid to confront a problem that has confounded lawmakers for decades, Los Angeles city and county officials approved sweeping plans Tuesday aimed at getting thousands of homeless people off the streets.
But one crucial question remains unanswered: Where will most of the money come from? [...]
The renewed government attention to homelessness was spurred in part by a 12% surge in people living on the streets [...] pushing the total to more than 44,000 homeless people countywide.
Previously in the Archinect news:"It’s about recognizing someone as existing": Photo exhibit depicts L.A.'s homelessness crisisLA's freeway system is becoming an increasingly crowded 'neighborhood' for the city's homelessLos Angeles to declare homelessness in the city an 'emergency' and pledge... View full entry
Monterey Park City Council adopts tougher penalties for landlords of illegal boarding homes
Landlords of illegal boarding homes could face $1,000 fines and six months in jail under tougher enforcement regulations adopted this week by the City Council...The city has staffed a volunteer in the code enforcement office and plans to add more of them. The council unanimously voted to update regulations to say it could prosecute landlords of illegal boarding homes with an infraction or misdemeanor charge and shut the 'public nuisance' down.
— Pasadena Star News
"These renters said in previous interviews that they try to stay out of the limelight and cannot afford other living arrangements as they work for below minimum wage and send a large chunk of their earnings back to family in China."Related:Honolulu Law Criminalizes HomelessnessAirbnb faces... View full entry
Editor's Picks #411
Laura Amaya published an interview with Alfredo Brillembourg, founder and co-director of Urban-Think Tank. Therein he signed off with this hopeful statement "I would say we are, now in the 21st century, in the expanded field of architecture. We are challenged, but we believe that this is one of... View full entry
Low-income housing in Los Angeles: A look at the past, present and future
The phrases "public housing" or "low-income housing" do not generally conjure thoughts of architectural innovation. [...]
But it doesn't have to be that way, as several recent housing developments in Los Angeles prove. Instead, they pose the question: What if low-income housing was perceived as leading the vanguard of innovative, responsive architecture?