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Mindful : August 2018
s ho Scho ol (505) 906-6700 s Scho ol s Scho ol s Scho ol s Scho ol ho ol (505) 906-6700 – Dr. Charletta Wilson C www..com not one sing Scho ol (505) 906-6700 – – Dr. Charletta Wilson C www..com not one single county in America where if you work full-time in a minimum wage job you can afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment. There are only 16 counties in America where you can afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment. So we have both an income problem—which is only going to get worse with automation—and we have a housing-expense problem. On the housing-expense side, we need more subsidies. Many other nations do a much better job of supporting a larger range of affordable housing than we do. But not everything has to be done with sub- sidies. I’ll give you an example. In the 1990s, my firm developed a project called Highlands Garden Village in Denver. We turned 26 acres— formerly an amusement park—into a mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhood, and all the rental housing there has a portion of affordability built into it. There’s co-housing on that site. Also it not only has single-family housing, but many of the homes come with accessory apartments. They’re usually rented or given to a friend, or somebody’s granny lives there, or after one parent dies, the other one moves in so the kids can take care of them. In that way, they can enrich the fabric of a family. We’re also now seeing older people moving into their own accessory apartment and renting out the main house and using that as income support. There are fairly invisible ways to double the density of a community and increase affordability. Am I correct in thinking that these higher-density, mixed-income, urban housing solutions can actually bring down costs overall, for example by making them more energy efficient? The greening absolutely makes sense, and we have a standard in the company: We’ll do any- 70 mindful August 2018 “I deeply believe that opportunity needs to be equally applied and equally delivered to all. It doesn’t mean that the outcomes will be the same, but it means the opportunities are the same.” society