New Spaces of Housing


Spring 2013

Michael Bell + Brian Loughlin, instructors

Section 42 of the United States Internal Revenue Service’s tax code was designed in 1986 to be a source of innovation: an incentive and an entrepreneurial aspect for affordable housing development. Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) quickly became the main source of capital for affordable housing. Federal plans for affordability were constituted by deferred rather than direct revenue; the policies were intended to both spur housing creation and abet innovation. Yet, since their inception affordable housing has assumed a more traditional appearance. Housing questions and in particular low income or Public Housing issues have been cast into hardened political positions since the inception of the public housing in the 1930’s. But today whether the one makes an argument from the left or the right, housing and the actual development means are largely adjudicated via market factors; it is architecturally built in the same manner as market rate housing. The social aspects of policy–as economics–are metered by a financial practice of real estate and are effectively narrowed. This seminar explored the implications of this scenario and more so its implications if any for architecture.