Curbed: Can good design help NYC’s affordable housing crisis?

Curbed, May 9th, 2018: Can good design help NYC’s affordable housing crisis?

Arbor House, an apartment complex in the South Bronx, features a rooftop greenhouse and a courtyard filled with exercise equipment, and is adorned with beautiful metalwork inspired by plants. A lush living wall in the lobby welcomes residents to the building. The 124 units inside boast wood floors and are bathed in natural light. And here’s the kicker: every single apartment is affordable.

New York City hopes to see more affordable housing developments, like Arbor House, that are rooted in their respective communities and feature exemplary architecture. To make that aspiration a reality, this week, the city’s Public Design Commission (PDC) published new design guidelines to help spread that philosophy far and wide. The document is a guide for firms bidding for affordable developments, as well as a tool to help the public understand how the city is thinking about its broader housing goals.


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