JCHS Offers Event on Reducing the Cost of U.S. Housing

Cambridge, MA, March 23, 2018-On April 13, the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies will bring together a diverse mix of people involved with the design, development, financing, construction, and public oversight of housing for an afternoon of discussion, brainstorming, and networking to answer the question, what can be done to reduce the cost of housing, particularly in the United States?

The event, open to practitioners, scholars, students, and others, will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts and will include a reception featuring innovative research and work being done by students at Harvard.

The event will seek to answer three key questions:

* What’s the problem?  Why does it cost so much to build new housing (and what might happen if we don’t address the problem)?

* What could be done? What are some promising approaches – in such fields as design, materials, manufacturing, construction techniques, financing, management, and/or regulation – to reduce the cost of building new housing?

* How could it be done? What limits our ability to pursue these approaches? How might those obstacles be overcome?  How can we best weigh the trade-offs and unanticipated consequences likely to accompany any changes to current practices?

Confirmed speakers include Andrew Freear (Auburn University), Terri Ludwig (Enterprise Community Partners, New York City), Randy Miller (RAD Urban, Oakland),  Adhi Nagraj (Oakland Planning Commission), Marc Norman (University of Michigan), Brian Phillips (ISA Architects, Philadelphia), Surella Segu (El Cielo Architects, Mexico City), James Shen (People’s Architecture Office, Beijing), Michael Thomas (Panoramic Interests, San Francisco), Harriet Tregoning (formerly of HUD), and Fritz Wolff (Katerra, Menlo Park).