Affordable housing and adaptive reuse

Rather than demolish an historic Portland church, a nonprofit organization, Shalom House, has submitted a proposal to use the space for housing low-income individuals with mental disabilities. The integrity of the exterior will remain largely unchanged, with the bulk of renovation taking place inside the building to create 25 affordable units.

As I said in an earlier post about converting sections of single-family homes into low-rent units, I like the idea of using existing resources to create new housing. This process saves construction costs and situates housing into already established neighborhoods. Plus, historic buildings can remain part of the community, creating a throughline between generations. Preserving space, rather than demolishing and constructing from scratch, is the least disruptive (and most productive) development option.

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