Alongside all of the formal programs to create affordable housing in San Francisco exists an under appreciated, but potentially important,component of the housing market: units that cost less because they are small and efficiently designed, and in many cases do not come with a parking space.
Housing that is affordable “by design” could become a more important part of San Francisco’s middle-income housing strategy, something to been courgette to supplement nonprofit, 100 percent affordable projects subsidized with public funds and inflationary housing units subsidized by private developers. This is a housing type that benefits the lower middle class rather than the truly poor, but it is precisely in this middle income stratum of the market that San Francisco has been least successful in serving. Given that San Francisco’s median home prices have hovered between $750,000 and $800,000 over the past year, and that the City’s inflationary housing program creates units priced between $200,000 and $250,000 , there is a need to create units priced somewhere in the middle that don’t require public subsidy.
If you're part of the solution to America's critical affordable housing challenge, this site is for you. The Affordable Housing Design Advisor brings together experience and ideas from successful affordable housing projects all over the country, and the people who developed, designed and built them.
Good design can make a world of difference for the people who will live in the affordable housing you help build, and for the neighborhood surrounding it. The Affordable Housing Design Advisor is here to help you at every step.
The MINNESOTA GREEN AFFORDABLE HOUSING GUIDE is a web-based resource to assist designers, contractors, and housing agencies integrate sustainability, health, durability, and energy efficiency into cold climate housing. It includes design strategies, decision making tools, comparative analyses, best practices, and resources.
For a developer, community approval of affordable housing projects is a critical issue. Well designed housing meeting multiple goals of energy efficiency, health, durability and low environmental impact can increase the potential for community approval.
Green Affordable Housing has a number of financial benefits to a developer as well. Sustainable design strategies can assist developers in reducing costs for street, water and sewer infrastructure. Rental property owners who develop affordable multifamily housing, will save money on operating and maintenance costs. For both owner occupied and rental housing, lower energy and maintenance costs as well as healthier, sustainable construction can be a marketing advantage
Too often, affordable housing has meant living in drab, institutional buildings located far from jobs, stores and other conveniences. What if instead of using this old, institutional blueprint, affordable developments followed modern, environmentally friendly design principles? What if the homes were drenched with sunlight to reduce energy costs, and the floors and cabinets were made from recycled materials in sleek and contemporary designs? And what if homes were clustered around public transit, schools, and shops, and featured porches and community parks to make it easy for neighbors to gather together?