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A way to get excited about delivering low-cost housing…

With all the discussion on how best to deliver affordable homes in Melbourne and across the nation, it is interesting to hear of experimental approaches being explored in other (much smaller) cities. The article linked below outlines such an approach.

The Mayur of the City of Duluth, Minnesota is releasing free public land to spark interest and innovation to deliver lost cost housing. The city is holding a contest called “Rebuild Duluth” which solicits applications for 13 sites setting out the design, construction timelines and budgets. The initiative is an attempt to improve the collective knowledge of how creativity and innovation can deliver low-cost homes in a way that is affordable and fits well within existing neighbourhoods.

“..housing is a math problem and somehow, we need to change the equation.” - Emily Larson, the mayor of Duluth, Minnesota

The hope is that the knowledge and ideas gained through the program will be replicable in other parts of the city. To facilitate the delivery of low-cost housing, the city has made zoning changes to some areas to allow smaller residential setbacks and narrower homes to lower construction costs.

This experimental approach will of course not be the solution to the low-cost housing shortage in this city but it is a way to experiment with ideas, test solutions and importantly, just get people excited about the ways in which low-cost housing can be delivered.


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