Stable housing is instrumental to well-being and this is where affordable housing comes in. As Deidre Schmidt, President and Chief Executive Officer of CommonBond Communities in St. Paul notes, “Those who had access to stable housing as children have better outcomes in life…Those who have access to stable housing as adults can focus on improving their job and financial situation….A stable home is a public health measure now.” As affordability has long been tied to reducing space, more innovative ideas for how to create housing that can be turned into a home are needed–from financing to design.

Residential

Twin Cities, Minnesota


Photo credit: https://commonbond.org/pohlad-supports-gateway-northeast/

Architects rethinking the future of residential design point to storage of food and cleaning supplies being a valued characteristic along with multi-functional/adaptable rooms that can go from living spaces to working spaces for children and adults, smaller units that are affordable, furniture with antimicrobial and easy-to-clean fabrics and materials, and touchless sensor-operated appliances to limit germ spread.

Residential

United States


Photo credit: Tasoulla Hadjiyanni

Roughly 6% of Minneapolis’ positive cases are found in Cedar Riverside neighborhood, where a vibrant East African community resides. Although affordability has long been tied to density and smaller spaces, the pandemic raised questions around the future of high rise apartments. Lack of indoor/outdoor connections, such as functional balconies that allow for light and air along with space for children and adults to decompress can greatly suppress mental well-being.

Residential

Twin Cities, Minnesota


Photo credit: Tasoulla Hadjiyanni

Home interiors, from living rooms to balconies, gave voice to the unified power of dance as 32 ballet dancers from 14 countries raised funds for coronavirus relief. Meanwhile, athletes trained in garages, abandoned fields, or like triathlete Jelle Geens in an inflatable swimming pool in Belgium. 

Using John Lennon’s Imagine as inspiration, Turin-based artist and illustrator Pierpaolo Rovero fantasizes about the way people around the world spend their time in quarantine–from Athens to New York, Paris, Jerusalem, and Tokyo. He uses windows, balconies, skylights, and rooftops, elements of residential environments that allow a glimpse of private life, shedding light on what unites us as humans and what gives us comfort and joy.

Residential

Global


Photo credit: http://www.pierpaolorovero.com/

With the playground being located across a busy street, children find themselves confined to a small earth mound in front of Seward Tower West, one of Minneapolis’ affordable housing apartment buildings. Space to sit in the front allows an elder to enjoy some air while maintaining social distancing. The building lacks balconies, a characteristic that we now know is indispensable.

Residential

Twin Cities, Minnesota


Photo credit: Tasoulla Hadjiyanni