SAB Center’s Response to the Housing Crisis: Pioneering Sustainable Affordable Housing

In the face of escalating construction costs, exacerbating the challenge of affordable housing, the SAB Center is spearheading a groundbreaking initiative to redefine the landscape of affordable living. The pervasive trend of shrinking affordable housing sizes in response to soaring prices is a critical concern. This is notably witnessed in states like California, where the rising popularity of tiny homes and city council endorsements for “micro housing” risk compromising quality and aesthetics, perpetuating a cycle of poverty.

To counteract the dearth of affordable housing, which has taken a toll on the financial and mental well-being of individuals, the SAB Center turns to historical standards for inspiration. Drawing from the 1918 “Standards Recommended for Permanent Industrial Housing Development” by the Department of Labor, Bureau of Industrial Housing and Transportation, the SAB Center embarks on a demonstration program. This initiative envisions a village comprising seven distinct house types catering to five diverse tenant profiles: researchers, designers, artists, homeless students, re-homed homeless individuals permanently employed by the SAB Center, and transitional guests.

Leveraging innovative technologies, each house becomes a prototype embodying existing patents. These patents safeguard homes against fires, harness green energies, mitigate radon in the air and water, reduce utility costs, and fortify community bonds through affordable housing financial tools.

The demonstration village, covering 14.52% of the land, coexists harmoniously with a dedicated nature preserve maintained by SAB Center workers. Embodying self-sufficiency, the village extends beyond mere housing to include food production, health services, and manufacturing spaces. Rental assistance is provided to 40% of tenants, while 60% are empowered to transition from occupancy to sustainable homeownership using the tools offered—a catalyst for creative and affordable housing.

Referencing the 1919 and 1920 reports by the Department of Labor on “War Emergency Construction (Housing War Workers),” the SAB Center commits to developing a comparable methodology. This approach will showcase how master planning can balance unit costs on affordable housing with those of sustainable housing, generating revenue and real estate capital. By revisiting historical standards and integrating modern innovations, the SAB Center envisions not just housing but a transformative model for sustainable, affordable living.