Are RVs a justifiable solution for affordable housing?
Though Silicon Valley is well known for its innovation, technology, and wealth, there is another untold story. Many Bay Area residents who have mid- to low-paying jobs cannot afford basic housing. As a result, they are driven out onto the streets, forced to live in RVs or homeless camps while trying to keep their jobs and care for themselves and their families. While the State has tried to help, there is far from enough affordable housing for these people. My project looks to provide townhouse-style affordable housing complexes as a temporary solution for individuals or families trying to get back on their feet. The homes themselves maximize living space and comfort while keeping the cost as low as possible. Since many of the target individuals are employed, the building complex itself has been built to a higher standard and quality than some of the traditional “projects”. Second, the complex is as eco-conscious and energy efficient as possible for the price point. Not only is environmental protection culturally important in Silicon Valley, but also this focus will further reduce living expenses by lowering utilities. A key aspect of my project is the community spaces. Many target residents have families or are planning to do so, therefore having a dedicated space for children or outdoor activities is important. Also, a community garden in the back corner of the complex will give residents access to fresh healthy food, increase overall efficiency, and create a more “homey” atmosphere. I believe this project will draw attention to a relevant issue in my community while also helping those who desperately need it.
Past projects which have inspired and influenced my design:
Images of my site and my initial analysis of the land:
This is the proposed layout of my community:
3D Mockup of My Project in Sketchup:
Townhouse Floor Plan:
Through my project I realized that in fact, with little more space than an actual RV, these people who have been forced out on the street can be given a safe, clean, welcoming home. I also learned just how rewarding working with my local community can be. Though my project will not be built, I hope it has inspired change in those who see it.
How Can You Help Your Local Community?
While it may be easy to spot a couple homeless people on the streets, the majority of homeless live out of view. Many communities are isolated from society or are hidden by the city. The two best ways to help your local homeless community are volunteering at shelters and getting involved with local government.
- How to volunteer at a shelter:
- There are countless shelters across the country, and often the best way to find a local shelter is through some research. Click here for a directory of homeless shelters across the nation
- How to get involved in local government:
- The best way to get involved in your local government is through activism. The first step is to attend local city council meetings and writing to your local representatives. Click here for a more detailed list of steps to follow.
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