Saturday, March 08, 2008

Historic Habitat Houses

Thanks to a reader who sent me this interesting article from USA Today "In Savannah, aesthetics, assistance work well together" regarding Habitat for Humanities attempts to build a house that fits into the historic neighborhood.

"In short, the program hopes to promote low-income housing in historic neighborhoods by building homes that fit architecturally into the surrounding community." and "the goal is to have people feel that their house fits into the neighborhood, so they feel part of the neighborhood, too."

To do so they have developed, in conjunction with the Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America, a Pattern Book for Neighborly Houses.

Interesting except from the ICACA web page: "The strength of our democracy is based on individual economic achievement and social mobility. Traditional American neighborhoods provided a range of types and cost of housing, all within a walking distance of daily services, schools and churches. This mix provided role models for success that served to inspire young people. It ensured the long term stability of the community by providing life-long housing options for people: small inexpensive housing for those beginning their careers, larger family houses when children come along, smaller urban housing for empty nesters, and assisted living for the elderly. Studies have demonstrated that over time the social capital created in such neighborhoods is a key in community stability and the health of its residents. Each house built has two roles: one to provide adequate shelter and the other to become part of a neighborhood."


"Development practices over the course of the last 60 years have eroded, and in some places obliterated, this great American tradition. Instead of building mixed-income neighborhoods, we have built single-income subdivisions isolated from each other."

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