Affordable Housing

On November 12th, programs will explore how solving the affordable housing problem in Philadelphia and beyond goes hand in hand with attaining sustainability and equity goals. Join keynote Daniel Aldana Cohen, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative for his program entitled: “A Green New Deal for Housing: An Anti-Racist Building Agenda for a Decade of Struggle.”

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8:00 a.m. - 8:15 a.m. 

8:15 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
Session 1: Combatting our New ‘Gravity’ with Passive (Aggressive) Efforts
Speakers: Paul Thompson, Angela Iraldi, Neil Goldman, LeAnne Harvey, Laura Blau, Katie Bartolotta
Credits: 1 AIA LU (HSW)
Program Description: The new ‘gravity’ that we can’t escape is climate change and it is altering the way we design, construct, and operate our built environment. While we need to limit the impact of our buildings on the environment, we also need to create equitable and just communities that can adapt to climate impacts. The Passive House Community within Green Building United strives to make Passive House design and construction mainstream, especially across ubiquitous and important building types in our area. This session will focus on the Passive House Community’s recent Rowhome Manual demonstration project, partnership with Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia, and continuing state-wide affordable housing advocacy and how they can be applied to existing rowhomes, single family residences, and larger multi-family projects.

9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Session 2: Philadelphia Neighborhoods - Present and Future
Speakers: Ryan Spak (Moderator), Councilwoman Jamie Gauthier, De'Wayne Drummond, Charles Lomax, Brian Murrey
Credits: 1.5 AIA LUs (HSW)
Program Description: Many Philadelphia neighborhoods are undergoing significant transformation, with higher-income residents moving in, real estate prices rising, new businesses replacing old ones, and racial and ethnic compositions changing.These processes are unfolding presently in Mantua (West Philadelphia) and Kensington (North Philadelphia) neighborhoods. Some residents view it as bringing vibrancy to the affected neighborhoods and much-needed tax revenue to the city. Others worry that longtime residents are being forced to leave and that those who stay no longer feel they belong. In this session we will learn how developers finance affordable housing, their cooperation with local community organizations, review recently completed or designed projects.

11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Session 3: Unhoused Communities 
Speakers: Dennis Culhane (Moderator), Jared McKnight,Ted Brinegar, Larry Arney, Janet Stearns
Credits: 1.5 AIA LUs (HSW)
Program Description: Homelessness is a persistent phenomenon of the urban life in our cities. There are many factors attributing to the homelessness, such as loss of material resources, loss of family or social connections, domestic violence, physical and mental  disabilities, loss of health. A huge shortage of affordable housing exasperated the problem. Representatives from Foxhole Housing, Project HOME and University of South California will discuss various programs aimed at assisting homeless population. ​

12:45 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Keynote: A Green New Deal for Housing: An Anti-Racist Building Agenda for a Decade of Struggle
Speaker: Daniel Aldana Cohen
Credits: 1 AIA LU (HSW)
Program Description: Housing causes over a sixth of the United States’ carbon emissions, with households of color paying the highest share of their income to keep the lights on. And disparities in home ownership anchor the racial white gap between Black and white Americans, with the latter owning almost ten times as much wealth as the former. The crisis of climate, energy, and white supremacy intersect in Americans’ homes. To build an alternative system, we need to start with new conceptual foundations: an intersection analysis of how housing crystallizes the concatenating crises of our time. Cohen will draw on qualitative research in Brazil and the United States, and cutting-edge carbon footprint analysis, and new theories of eco-apartheid that link analyses of race and class, to develop those foundations. He will consider the lessons of Vienna’s social housing experiment and Catherine Bauer’s work on “modern housing” in the United States. And he will explore the architectural and political challenges of building—and retrofitting—anti-racist green social housing in the United States during the 2020s. He will conclude with a call for architects to bring their distinctive expertise into unruly social coalitions for dramatic change.