Flexible Home Proposed as Affordable Housing Solution

July 25, 2019
apartment living room
Photo: Unsplash/Patrick Perkins

A flexible home, with an included rental unit and opportunities for expansion, won a Chicago design competition for affordable housing, Forbes reports.

What if you lived in a house that was designed to change over time as needed? As a young couple, you might live on the lower level and rent out the two bedrooms upstairs. When you are ready to start a family, you might desire an additional bedroom, so you move to the second floor and rent out the first floor. As you grow older, modifications on the first floor could make your home more accessible and better suited to your needs. Through these scenarios, the starter home becomes a forever home.

Greg Tamborino, a senior project architect at Perkins and Will architecture and design firm of Chicago, was selected as the winner of the Disruptive Design competition for his flexible architectural solution that encourages long-term wealth building through homeownership. He will receive $20,000 as well as the opportunity to see his designs get built.

He said the two-flat design is intended for someone who could not afford the whole house but could envision living on one floor and renting the larger unit upstairs.

“For example, when their family grows, my solution is that this house changes with you,” said Tamborino. “There’s no need to pack up and move to another house. This home will always fit your needs, including when you become elderly.”

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