Can we create an affordable and rapidly deployable solution to provide immediate transitory housing for America’s homeless under the Housing First model while revitalizing the abandonded big box stores?
What is the cost of houselessness?
Is it the expense for social services picked up at the cost of the taxpayer? Is it the tent city that popped up in your local neighborhood? Is it the line waiting for shelter on a cold night? To what expense does humanity pay for allowing any human to live without proper habitation.
Currently, over 580,466 Americans experience homelessness, which is the fastest growth rate since 1986. Homelessness in the United States has been exacerbated in recent years by job losses, rapid inflation, the COVID pandemic, rising housing costs and a lack of affordable housing options across the country.
Additionally, with the added strain of climate related disasters and growing migration, the American housing market has reached record rental prices as the supply of rentals are largely outweighed by the need. In the present system, taxpayers are burdened with the costs of cleaning up tents and shelters, which far outweigh the costs of providing permanent housing. It is essential for cities to provide an immediate transitory housing program when local solutions are exhausted in order to reduce homelessness.
Congruently, America’s suburban landscape is facing a major crossroads with the rapid decline of big box stores and malls while simultaneously struck by poverty, economic decay, and a reduction in employment opportunities. It is estimated that nearly 1 billion sq ft (92,903,040 sqm) of retail space will be abandoned within the next five years, taking hundreds of thousands of suburban job opportunities with them.
Using guidelines set forth in the Green New Deal and Biden’s Housing First Funding, The United States has a unique opportunity to convert abandoned spaces for an abandoned population.
Download the full conceptual book supporting housing pop-ups for the homeless in abandoned spaces.