This L.A. project shows that homeless housing can be done quickly and cheaply
When the last touches of landscaping are done next month, the 232-bed Vignes Street development will have shattered the axiom that homeless housing takes years to build and is exorbitantly expensive. From start to finish in under five months and at a cost of about $200,000 per bed, it has shaved years and hundreds of thousands of dollars off a traditional homeless housing project. – Unlike traditional homeless housing projects that are either designed for permanent residency with services or for short-term shelter, the Vignes complex will have both. The two main buildings, constructed of once-used shipping containers, will have 132 units of permanent housing. The trailers, each divided into five units, will be for interim housing. The administrative building will house dining facilities, laundry and support services such as case management and counseling to serve both the permanent and interim residents.
Some Calgary hotels hope to fill 80% vacancy rate by converting to affordable housing
The list of hotels emerged as the federal government announced the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), a $1 billion Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) program designed to fund the construction of 3,000 affordable housing units across the country. The federal agency has already provided half of that amount, or $500 million, to several cities across the country, including Calgary.
Could California’s Shopping Centers Be a Housing Fix?
There are three main types of projects ripe for this kind of reuse, Garcia says: commercial strips in more urban areas, often along existing transit lines; former big box retailers in more suburban areas; and vacant land in the exurban landscape that’s been reserved for future development. Researchers found there was actually more acreage of available commercial space per person in more suburban/outlier areas, an opportunity that, if paired with increased investment in transit, could quickly bring more density and valuable walkable development to fast-growing and diversifying suburban centers, some of which have already done a relatively good job of building new housing.
First Look: Southeast Dallas’ Shipping Container Housing Project
CitySquare Housing is one of the largest Dallas nonprofits working to combat poverty and affordable housing. Their project, The Lomax Container Housing Project, is creatively repurposing shipping containers into 19 one-bedroom affordable apartments in Southeast Dallas at the intersection of South Malcolm X Boulevard and Louise Avenue. The shipping containers are 300 square feet. The home’s layout features a living area at the front of the space, then a kitchen, bathroom, and lastly, a bedroom at the back of the home.
The Housing Supply Shortage: State of the States
Unsurprisingly, the states with the most severe housing shortage are the states that have recently attempted to loosen zoning policy regulations. States like California, Oregon, and others have undertaken policy action to address this issue. California, for example, has been working on chipping away at single-use zoning while Texas has passed a density bonus program, an ordinance which amends the city code by loosening site restrictions and promoting construction of more units in affordable and mixed-income housing developments. Oregon was one of the first states to pass legislation to eliminate exclusive single-family zoning in much of the state. The Minneapolis City Council voted to get rid of single-family zoning and started allowing residential structures with up to three dwelling units in every neighborhood.
Prompted by Pandemic, Some States Buy Hotels for the Homeless
Temporarily housing homeless people in hotels is nothing new. Housing and social service agencies often use hotel vouchers during extremely cold weather or natural disasters. Many communities have used federal CARES Act money to provide temporary housing in hotels. But by systematically purchasing hotels outright, Oregon and California have taken it a step further. When the pandemic ends, the two states will continue using hotels as emergency homeless shelters, transitional housing or permanent affordable housing. In Oregon, nonprofit housing and social services providers will own and run the hotels-turned-housing.
REAL ESTATE AND MOBILITY
What’s RTD’s role with TOD?
RTD’s Transit Oriented Development (TOD) mission is to help facilitate opportunities that increase ridership or enhance transit investments throughout the District through station design and close coordination with local jurisdictions and developers. RTD’s TOD group manages and conducts research to support transit-oriented development, shares information with both public and private sector partners, and provides planning assistance in order to help local jurisdictions connect constituents to transit service. RTD occasionally pursues joint development, a subset of TOD that involves a partnership between RTD and a public or private developer to improve agency property at an active transit facility.
DIA hits second milestone of Great Hall terminal renovation project
Denver International Airport reached another “significant” contractual milestone in the scaled-back $770 million plan to complete its Great Hall terminal renovation, airport officials announced Monday. The latest project development is part of Phase One of the Great Hall terminal renovation and the second milestone to be completed ahead of schedule since DIA’s costly split with its original general contractor of the project — Great Hall Partners — who officials replaced with Hensel Phelps Construction Co. in late 2019. On Dec. 7, the Denver City Council approved the updated plans and a $170 million contract amendment with Hensel Phelps to advance Phase Two of the project. While Phase One creates new modern ticketing pods for United and Southwest Airlines, Phase 2 focuses primarily on enhancing security, including relocating the south security checkpoint from Level 5 to Level 6 and adding five security lanes with room to install “more efficient” technology. The Great Hall Project is scheduled to be complete by mid-2024.
Southeast Denver Mobility Hubs Study
Mobility Hubs are becoming an integral part of a smart community. The concept focuses on activating transit stations and bus stops to better connect the surrounding community while providing an active environment around each station. Transportation Solutions broke new ground three years ago by studying potential improvements to Colorado Station and University of Denver Station, and later secured $8.4 million in Elevate Denver Bond funding for access and safety improvements. Additionally, new services designed to connect the community have since been implemented, including a microtransit shuttle service at University of Denver Station. Transportation Solutions is continuing its efforts in studying three more stations: Yale, Southmoor, and Belleview in cooperation with Denver South TMA, RTD and the City and County of Denver.