[caption id="attachment_424" align="alignleft" width="700" caption="Sunshades at Bakhita Gardens "][/caption] The Housing Development Consortium organized a tour of Bakhita Gardens at 2nd & Bell. The project was designed by our friends at Environmental Works and accommodates two transitional housing programs for homeless women. The project was well planned – with ingenuity and creativity to provide daylight common spaces and a strong sense of community while still providing security and supervision. The sun-shading seemed to be effective given that the building had no air conditioning even in the common areas. And the material selection was durable, dignified, and beautiful. I appreciate living in a city and state where affordable housing is funded to the level it is and that there is a community of skilled architects who create a high caliber of projects. Contractor was Walsh Construction, Catholic Housing Services was development consultant, and Swenson Say Faget provided structural engineering.
Schemata Workshop has been a member of the Housing Development Consortium (HDC) for a few years and we appreciate the tours and educational programs they sponsor as a way to keep abreast of what's happening in the affordable housing community. Another resource we have appreciated in that regard is the Housing Washington conference that occurs each fall (Oct 19-20, 2010). This annual conference draws 700-800 attendees from across the state (as well as a handful of out-of-staters who want to learn from what we are doing here) - ranging from housing authorities, non-profit developers, bankers, contractors, social service providers, property/asset management companies, tax credit syndicates, and architects. Mike and I will be doing a presentation at this year's conference (Tuesday 1:30) entitled Affordable Cohousing: Making it Work for Low-Income Families.