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Form Follows Families: The Evolution of U.S. Affordable Housing Design and Construction
The design, construction, and physical maintenance of U.S. low-income housing—both assisted and market-rate inventories—have undergone both remarkable innovation and astounding decay during the past century. If well designed, constructed, and maintained, affordable housing is a vital economic and social asset. If not, it is a symbol of modern urban blight, a contributor to precarious living situations, and a symptom of bureaucratic inefficiency and market disregard. The new and existing housing stock occupied by low-income Americans are mirrors of our policy and our markets. Past historical surveys of America housing have shed light on how the bricks and mortar of our nation’s housing are inscribed with social, economic, and political meaning. This symposium seeks submissions that broaden this field by applying historical or social-science analysis to the form, materials, means, and methods of low-income housing. In this symposium we will be equally interested in both the market-rate housing stock occupied by low-income households and the assisted housing stock. The topics of interest are wide and include, but are not limited to, (1) gender, race, or physical mobility and housing design; (2) municipal “incivilities” ordinances and building codes; (3) measures of inadequate or distressed housing; (4) vernacular design and occupant preferences; and (5) homebuyer and occupant maintenance and repair behaviors. Submit proposals via firstname.lastname@example.org.