Taubman College Faculty are Working to Improve Tomorrow’s Living Environments

Access to quality housing is a basic necessity and key to well-being that is out of reach for many individuals and families. Taubman College faculty including Dean Jonathan Massey and Sharon Haar, professor of architecture, are among the University of Michigan experts leading discussion and championing change around housing affordability. 

“Since the housing crisis is an intersectional and multidimensional issue, it’s important that we identify the most promising, and sometimes the most daring, strategies to tackle each of those issues to integrate them in new visions for how we house our families and communities,” said Dean Massey in a recent article published by University of Michigan Poverty Solutions.

There are many significant challenges in current living environments. Low and unstable incomes combined with a short supply of affordable housing create difficulties for families. The effects of lead exposure from water and paint have detrimental impacts on population health. Additionally, attention must be paid to carbon emissions from the built environment in order to make progress on sustainability. 

The Collective for Equitable Housing (CEH) is one initiative working to address these issues. “The goal is to build upon capacities at Taubman College and interact with others across the university to develop more interdisciplinary and actionable research that can put forth propositions for how to transform financing, policy, or regulatory barriers that have big impacts on the provision of affordable housing,” said Haar.

“Every part of a great research university like Michigan has a role to play in tackling the housing crisis,” Dean Massey said. “For instance, we need the policy insights of the Ford School, we need the construction expertise of engineers and scientists and architects, we need the design ingenuity of the architect, and we need the understanding of communities from the School of Social Work. Ultimately, the School of Education knows a lot about what kinds of communities and school systems are going to foster the success of the people who live in the housing. Not every university can offer you access to the very leading edge of innovation the way University of Michigan can.”

Read the full article from Poverty Solutions