While the need for quality, affordable housing continues to rise, it’s important that thoughtful design remains a consideration during the construction process.

As home and rent prices continue to rise throughout the country, and the cost of living continues to go up, the importance of affordable housing has perhaps never been greater. Below, we’re going to discuss the current problem with the state of housing in the U.S. and ways in which thoughtful design in affordable housing construction makes a big difference.


There’s a Shortage

Before we start getting into design and functionality of affordable housing buildings, we need to acknowledge and address the problem—there’s a shortage in this country. According to data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, we’re in a major housing shortage, with a need for more than 7 million more affordable housing units for extremely low-income families throughout the U.S. Every state, and every community is being impacted by the lack of availability in quality, affordable homes, contributing to a rising homeless population, lack of resources, and much more.


Fit In with the Community

The design phase is a crucial step in the affordable housing construction process, as the new building really needs to fit right in with the existing community. Understanding the community’s wants and needs in a construction project can make the difference between a new building that complements your community or an out-of-place structure. Specifically, things like building shape, appearance, location, and even community landscaping need to be considered.

Additionally, it’s important to pinpoint early in the process who the anticipated occupants of the development will be, as this should affect the design. The household needs of a growing young family are vastly different than the needs of elderly empty nesters. Defining these needs at early stages of the project will help you in aligning your project with the community and the people who will eventually reside in it.


Visual Complexity

Affordable housing doesn’t equate to cheap construction. The façade of a building is really its public image and identity. Design considerations like variations in height, color, materials, and texture can all go a long way in making low-income communities fit in with the surrounding area but also look attractive to new tenants.


Go Green (Always)

Sustainable construction should always be considered, regardless of the building being constructed. Finding ways to reduce CO2 emissions or general construction waste during the build are an important part of Catalyst’s new build plan.


If we’re going to talk about affordable housing, we need to recognize that the need has never been greater. At Catalyst, we’re committed to being a part of the solution, providing high-quality, affordable housing for those who need it. If you require a building partner who has experience creating affordable local communities, contact us today.

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Eric Williams
As Catalyst's Director of pre-constuction, Eric brings over 20 years of experience as a Chief Estimator in the construction industry. Eric is a savvy operations professional skilled in Value Engineering, Project and Renovation Estimation.