Housing for a Changing America

Housing for a Changing America

Housing in America is ever changing – growing and morphing to match the needs of the consumers. While years ago, when the average consumer was a nuclear unit, now, the ever changing culture in America has create a slightly different consumer group. The consumers are now, more than ever, single adults – living alone – single parent families, or even multi-generational groups sharing a space. The housing market needs to meet the needs of these types of consumers. A new exhibit at the National Building Museum is available until September 2018 that speaks to the ideas that are taking root in the consumer housing market.

While much innovation is constrained by zoning regulations – innovators are finding solutions in tiny homes, micro-units, accessory apartments and co-living exploration.

Cutting edge technology makes ideas such as a 1,000 sq foot home a possibility for nearly anyone – with changing/moving walls, multi-functional furniture, and efficient layout design. This can also make purchasing a home affordable for the under-served and low income housing market.

Even better, the exhibit features more than two dozen real-world options of communities and projects that have the potential to turn housing in America on its head.

Austin and Detroit have both taken tiny homes to the next level, creating entire communities of these “itty-bitty” houing projects to provide homes for the homeless, low income, and chronically disabled populations in their communities.

Arlington has taken a different approach, by converting a high rise office space into multiple 300-800-square-foot units that contain shared kitchen areas and common areas for common interest, such as Yoga classes. This can help those moving into a new area feel more at home and make friends more quickly.

So many new options are available for those struggling to make ends meet, such as single mothers (with CoAbode – in which you can share an apartment with another single mother) to the elderly (Granny Pod – tiny homes for the elderly – equipped with touch light-up flooring, grab bars and sensors that read vital signs).

Of course, regulations still exist; however moves are being made to update these regulations to make housing a more affordable and easier to obtain for the ever changing and molding population.

To see the exhibit online or in person visit – https://www.nbm.org/exhibition/making-room/.

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