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Designing Housing Justice: A Holistic Approach to Addressing the Housing Crisis


As the housing crisis deepens, architects are challenged to move beyond merely providing shelter and embrace a holistic approach centered on justice, community, and systemic change. Rather than focusing solely on quantity, architects have the opportunity to redefine success by prioritizing quality, equity, and social impact in housing design.

MASS Design Group, at the forefront of this movement, is pioneering cost-effective, replicable design solutions that address the urgent need for affordable housing while prioritizing community well-being and resilience. The recently opened J.J. Carroll House in Boston exemplifies this ethos, offering not only affordable senior housing but also fostering vibrant communities where residents can thrive.

Recognizing the intersectionality of housing issues, MASS collaborated with the City of Boston and the Mattapan community to develop a transformative vision for equitable growth. By centering housing as a catalyst for change, MASS empowered the community to shape their neighborhood's future, advocating for diverse housing options, economic opportunities, and green spaces.

This community-led approach challenges traditional notions of housing design, reframing it as a tool for justice and restoration. By elevating community voices and prioritizing long-term health and equity, architects can influence policy and systemic change, as evidenced by the adoption of new zoning regulations for Mattapan.

Moving forward, architects must raise the bar and redefine success beyond conventional metrics. By disrupting norms and embracing a more holistic approach, we can transform the housing system and create lasting positive impact for residents, buildings, and communities alike

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