A New Design Guide for Affordable Housing Developments

New affordable housing is only one step toward creating livable communities—a quality mix of uses on the ground floor, designed to integrate with the street and public spaces is also vital.

1 minute read

February 27, 2016, 11:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Affordable Housing

David Joseph Photography / Flickr

Oscar Perry Abello shares news of a "newly released guidebook on ground-floor design in mixed-use affordable housing developments.

The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) launched the process of creating the new design guidelines several years ago, producing the result in partnership with the Design Trust for Public Space, in response to the glaring limitations of ground-floor spaces in new, mixed-use affordable housing developments.

According to Perry Abello, the "87-page guidebook, 'Laying the Groundwork: Design Guidelines for Retail and Other Ground-Floor Uses in Mixed-Use Affordable Housing Developments'...features checklists, illustrations and real-life examples from NYC as well as from other cities." The new guidelines will inform requests for proposals as New York moves forward with Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to create or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing in a ten-year period.

The article includes discussion about the long-term effectiveness of the guidelines, much of which will hinge on the role of the city's 72 business improvement districts.

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