Affordable Housing

Boulder Affordable Housing Project

A Method



Six factors have to be in place if true affordable housing is to happen:


A real Estate Development System that integrates the efforts of all members of the ValueWeb.


Buildings that follow organic, green, sustainable principles and are built by lean production methods.


“Replacement City” economics as an integral part of the community structure.


A SPONSOR that provides "air cover" during the initial phases of the project and who imposes the appropriate social economic rules in the jurisdiction around the project.


Steady, uninterrupted work of real building over an extended period of time so that the ValueWeb can learn a way-of-building while building mutual trust based on experience. Initially, 10% cost and time reduction can be expected. This can grow to over 50% cost and 75% time reduction over time.


Master Planning Method creating context for the entire project.

Without these six factors affordable housing will never happen. There will be fake affordable housing efforts: subsidized, ugly, energy wasteful, poorly built (by exploitative practices) buildings.

Affordable housing is not cheep houses for those of lower income in an isolated ghetto (not matter how “nice” it looks). It is housing that the individuals who live in it CAN afford - that communities CAN afford - that economies and ecologies CAN afford.


Non affordable housing is obvious in lower income circumstances. It is even more damaging when “affordable” in strict budget terms: “I can pay for this, now.” This short term circumstance obscures the many other issues involved. Is it sucking up a life rather than supporting it? Is it shutting off community? Does it pollute? Does it promote radical “boom/bust” economic cycles? Does it waste energy from nonrenewable sources? Does if fail to create the kind of habitat that nurtures individuality, family and community?

Affordable housing could be called SUSTAINABLE housing. IF it is sustainable - it can be afforded.


Affordable housing means that the people who work there can live there with beauty, dignity and pride. They can make and maintain what they live in. They are competent in the basic requirements of life: creating food and shelter, performing valuable work, building community, securing their safety, creating art, passing these skills on to the next generation.




Matt Taylor
Palo Alto
October 23, 2001


SolutionBox voice of this document:




posted: October 23, 2001

revised: October 26, 2001
• • •

(note: this document is about 10% finished)

Matt Taylor 615 720 7390

Copyright© Matt Taylor 2001




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