Brave New Home: Our Future in Smarter, Simpler, Happier Housing

Diana Lind. Bold Type, $28 (272p) ISBN 978-1-5417-4266-6
Urban policy researcher Lind sketches the history of housing in America and looks at emerging trends in her detailed and optimistic debut. Noting a lack of affordable housing in many cities and persistent racial disparities in homeownership rates, Lind tracks the shift from the boarding houses and apartment buildings of the 19th and early 20th centuries to the suburban sprawl of the mid-20th century. According to Lind, Americans are now moving away from the predominant model of large single-family homes. Visits to a “commune” in a Manhattan townhouse and a 324-sq.-ft. “tiny home” in a Burlington, Vt., backyard reveal the attraction of “co-living” arrangements for young professionals and a rise in “accessory dwelling units” in cities with affordable housing shortages, respectively. Lind also profiles a real estate development company in Philadelphia that seeks to keep gentrification at bay by renting to low-income residents and providing access to medical care. A congenial and well-informed tour guide, Lind balances her hopeful outlook with a sincere acknowledgement of how deeply racial and class inequalities affect these matters. Urban planners, policymakers, affordable housing advocates, and real estate developers will want to take a look. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/05/2020
Release date: 10/13/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
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