In the News – New Designs For Building Homes Within Reach
In the debate about how best to deliver new homes to buyers who are just starting out or just moving up, the question of attainability tends to get lost. It’s an issue that expands beyond one generation to what may be one of the most pressing questions in our industry. In its most recent “The State of the Nation’s Housing” report, released in June, The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University confirmed that while income growth and demand for new homes are on the rise, so are income inequality and rent burden. The report maintains that efforts to provide affordable housing aren’t coming close to meeting the need, with far-reaching and dire long-term consequences. As a result, providing buildable, profitable, and affordable new homes is seen by many builders as beyond their grasp at best and at worst, too labor-intensive to make sense.
However, new prototypes are challenging that idea, merging time-honored configurations with up-to-date materials and contemporary design. Here’s a sneak peek at what may be a sound and sensible response to the charge that we, as an industry, can do better to help new buyers earning middle-class incomes enter the market—and in so doing, design for what architect and planner Daniel Parolek has called the “Missing Middle”: clustered, single-family homes that are less car-centric.
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