Infill – Alternative physical and financial models for affordable housing

ARC605 | Spring 2019
Professor Stephanie Cramer

Many neighborhoods within the city of Buffalo have a high percentage of depopulated neighborhoods and vacant lots. The city also has great need for more housing as our population is growing and is expected to experience more growth in the next decade. The housing market in Buffalo is experiencing a resurgence, with many new structures and rehabilitation efforts throughout the city.

Single lot interventions are a step in the right direction, but are usually too small to be a catalyst for lasting change and require development of existing networks and services beyond the means of small developers. Large scale developments also face their own challenges such as lack of unique character, and difficulty fitting in with existing communities. Both are islands within the city. This begs the question : how do we create infill housing with positive transformative qualities?

The first half of the semester was dedicated to developing proposals for student cooperative housing in University Heights on single infill lots. The second half explored opportunities for multi-lot infill senior cooperative housing within a community on the East Side. Students worked in small groups to define a neighborhood social structure and design common spaces. Each individual developed ‘unit’ proposals within this network.