Design factors in mixed income housing – a comparison between the U.S. and the UK
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Design has played a complicated role in affordable housing in both the U.S. and the UK. These two countries have had fairly different approaches towards their affordable housing policy in the past, but now have both converged to using mixed income housing as a primary method of delivering affordable housing. This report will investigate the role that design plays in the ways that each of these countries administers its mixed income housing programs. Specifically, it will look at how design is used to achieve the goals behind mixed income housing, as well as specific decisions regarding exterior treatment and siting of the units in a mixed income housing development. I will use a case study approach in my research process, focusing on two case studies in the UK, and two case studies in the U.S. In order to obtain my findings, I used key informant interviews, key policy and program documents, and on-site observations. Ultimately, I found that design factors need to be carefully balanced between social equity goals and financial feasibility, and it is important to recognize the limitations of what mixed income housing can achieve for social goals.