“With diminishing housing options, the gap between the ‘housed’ and the ‘unhoused’ has continued to swell, making it substantially more difficult for one to transition back into housing after losing it . . . . To be considered ‘affordable’, housing is supposed to take up no more than 30 percent of your income, yet half of all renters are now paying a higher percentage. This has created what U.S. Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan has called, ‘the worst rental affordability crisis this country has ever known.’”
Andrew Heben, Tent City Urbanism: From Self-Organized Camps to Tiny House Villages
New Beginnings is a transitional housing community for homeless singles making insufficient wages and lacking access to affordable housing. The complex is designed as a pop-up camp compliant with a provisional permit allowing only temporary structures. Resident stays will average four months with a maximum allowable stay of six months. Since permanent site modifications are prohibited at this time, the project typologically lies somewhere between a tent city and a tiny house village. Both informal settlement patterns have become common responses to shortfalls in the formal housing sector. Since more than one percent of the nation’s population—or 3.7 million people—experience short-term homelessness at any given time, we cannot ignore the role of informal solutions in providing essential shelter and services as a stepping stone back to formal housing.
2019 Green GOOD DESIGN Award