According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are more than 553,000 homeless people in the country on any given night, which represents 0.17% of the population. Even when these numbers might not seem that big, homelessness represents a huge problem for cities, as it is a symptom of a housing issue that is not being properly managed. However, there are many smart architecture projects that are being designed as a way to combat homelessness, looking to offer people the opportunity of having a place to live.
To begin with, we have Commonweal Pods, a project designed by Reed Watts, which consists of building sleeping pods using standard plywood sheets that are interlocked with each other. These connections require no screws, nails, or glue, and make these temporary bunks very easy to assemble, transport, and relocate. This way, Commonweal Pods can give their users more privacy and security than sleeping on the streets.
Homes for Hope
Looking for temporary housing alternatives is an important part of any architecture project that aims at tackling homelessness. However, providing people with permanent supportive houses is essential, since affordable transitional housing projects are particularly scarce. This is where Homes for Hope comes into play, a project designed by Mary and David Martin’s Madworkshop, in collaboration with the USC School of Architecture. Homes for Hope is a set of modular dwellings that can be installed quickly and without representing a huge expense on the city.
3-D Printed Home
3-D printing has come to make significant changes in many different industries, and housing isn’t an exception. Icon, a company that focuses on creating printers, robotics, and advanced materials for homebuilding, in collaboration with New Story, an NPO that also focuses on sustainable building, is revolutionizing homebuilding with their mobile 3-D printer. This printer is capable of building an 800-square-foot house in less than a day, costing less than $4,000 and generating practically zero waste in the process.
Another interesting project that focuses on giving long-term solutions is La Casa, in Washington, D.C., created by Leo A. Daly and Studio Twenty Seven Architecture. This 26,200-square-foot permanent housing project is located among high-density residential developments, and it provides housing and services for 40 people at a time. Thanks to single-person efficiency units, La Casa gives tenants stability, privacy, safety, and a community to belong, making their transition out of homelessness quicker and easier.
Community First! Village
Lastly, we have another great project that provides people with affordable and permanent micro-housing alternatives within a supportive community in Austin, Texas. Community First! Village is a 51-acre hamlet that, besides offering well-designed tiny homes, also comes with community gardens, medical facilities, market, and even a movie theater. The main objective of this project, besides the opportunity to transition out of homelessness, is to restore hope and give people their dignity back.