alexa Sustainable Housing Applications and Policies for Low-income Self-Build and Housing Rehab.


Journal of Architectural Engineering Technology

Author(s): Sullivan E, Ward PM

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Recent years have seen an increased focus on the role of house construction and retrofitting within the broader agenda of sustainable development and climate change. To date this focus has largely targeted middle- and upper-income residential neighborhoods in urban areas. However, in the United States, and in middle developing countries such as Brazil and Mexico, there is growing recognition that urban sustainability will only gain traction if widespread applications are also incorporated into self-help and do-it-yourself housing construction and home improvements, especially those that address lower-income housing markets. Here we explore some of the potential ways in which contemporary sustainable housing applications may be integrated into the existing housing stock in low-income and informal settlements in the United States and in Latin America. We document the range of sustainable housing applications that are increasingly available in the U.S. as a baseline for discussion and evaluation of the potential application to lower-income segments of the housing market in both developed and developing countries. A heuristic model is presented to assess the extent to which policy makers, NGOs and low-income owner households may realistically participate in sustainable home building. Beyond physical development applications we close by emphasizing that sustainable housing agendas must adopt a holistic approach: one that embraces community and social organizational development, as well as fiscal and juridical policy dimensions.

This article was published in Habitat International and referenced in Journal of Architectural Engineering Technology

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