The Housing System: What’s mine is yours?

What's the future for intentional collective living?

July 17, 2019

Recorded on May 16, 2019.

The Housing System was a six-program series on pressing issues at the intersection of design, policy, and politics in housing in spring 2019.

Collective housing has a long history globally, from longhouses to baugruppen to cooperatives, but today’s arrangements are often more ad hoc than intentional. That’s changing again, though, as private companies, community groups, and local government in New York City are embracing coliving, cohousing, and other communal possibilities. The third event in the series examined questions of living together, from design to affordability to management strategies.

Architect Brian Baldor from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) explains the city’s recent ShareNYC initiative and why local policymakers want to support shared housing. Architect Jenn Chang of Common discusses the coliving company’s shared housing models, design strategies, and management decisions as well as their plans to extend the model to family-oriented typologies. Architect Jonathan Kirschenfeld presents three related approaches to shared housing: six built projects of supportive housing and two speculative projects, including proposed cohousing for the Bronx that would use a community land trust model. Emily Schmidt, manager for housing programs at the League, moderates a conversation on what can be learned from shared living arrangements of the past and what progressive notions of collective living we could embrace going forward.