Shelter For All

Many people in the bioregion live in substandard, unhealthy housing. For others, housing costs are so high that their household's financial security is endangered.

The old Belmont Dairy has been gracefully converted to a grocery store and housing.

Housing types vary widely in cost, density, suitability for different population groups, and support of Community. When housing types lack variety, it is more difficult to sustain both Cultural Diversity and a mix of income levels. Monolithic neighborhoods tend to physically separate generation from generation, disconnect people from their jobs, and isolate both rich and poor.

In a Human-Scale Neighborhoods, a wide mix of housing types make it possible for people of all ages, classes, and family configurations to live in close proximity. Detached houses, small "granny flats" in backyards, duplexes, rowhouses, apartment buildings, co-housing, and other types provide a continuum of affordability and privacy. If designed properly, higher density can yield both greater affordability and an enhanced sense of community. Humane and healthy dwellings are a

Fundamental Needs. The ownership of such dwellings is a critical foundation of Social Equity.

Even neighborhoods built without a diversity of housing types can be retrofitted and infilled to increase the range of choices and densities. With the agreement of neighbors, adjacent buildings can share yards, gardens, and common buildings; infill cottages and flats can be added; streets can be slowed down and circulation patterns altered.

Affordable housing is critical to providing shelter for all. It should be constructed using Green Building techniques that minimize toxicity, enhance indoor air quality, emphasize natural light, and reduce utility bills. Green affordable housing has lower maintenance costs and makes an important contribution to the Health of its residents.

It is essential to maintain policies in support of affordable housing, along with a Local Assets that supports homeownership.

Promote a mix of housing types in every neighborhood, accommodating a wide range of income levels. Establish strong policies in support of affordable housing construction and homeownership. Use green building techniques when constructing affordable housing.