Design & Development Creativity and Public Involvement needed for affordable market housing solutions for families.

My attention was drawn to this today in the Vancouver media about the lack of 3+ bedroom units in Metro Vancouver: “Baby’s Crib-In-The-Bathroom Campaign highlights Vancouver’s Housing Crisis.” [CTV News].  “Generation Squeeze” is the group representing the people affected by this market shortage / shortfall.  I think that we are going to hear much more from consumers whose needs are NOT being met by the market, and we are collectively going to need to respond to meet those needs.

A Creative Response: 3-Bed Design Competition

We need to tap the deep creativity of our design, development, and planning communities and involve families in the search for more affordable “market” family housing solutions.

I am imagining a “Compact 3 Bed” Design Competition with actual demonstration suites mocked up, say in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery for a month so that the public and politicians can view the units and give and receive feedback. The mock-ups can explain all of the projected costs for each unit, design features, by-law conflicts and other trade-offs. The case studies can also explore WHERE we can build more to increase the supply in the face of low rental vacancies and for-sale availability of 3+ bedroom units.

International Precedents …

This has been done before. From my planning and development experience here in London UK, here’s a 2 Bedroom Design competition I reported on earlier this year – run by Marc Vlessing’s innovative firm Pocket Development. 

The Greater London Authority recently funded Pocket to run pilot programs for compact affordable housing in London.

Pocket Cover

 by Michael Mortensen, MA, MCIP, RPP – a Vancouver Developer & Planner 

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