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Rafi Segal, Marisa Morán Jahn, Ernst Valery
2020 – ongoing
Slated to open in Baltimore in 2023, Carehaus is the United States’ first intergenerational, care-based co-housing project. A collaboration between architect Rafi Segal and artist Marisa Moràn Jahn, the project is founded on the belief that older adults, disabled people, as well as those who care for them are all integral to the well-being of our communities. Yet as a society, the designers contend, we have yet to even begin to design for increasing number of aging and/or disabled people in our communities—nor design for those who care for them. With Carehaus, Segal and Jahn propose a new model of affordable, accessible housing and care that integrates accommodations for caregivers and their families alongside older adults with disabilities. The designers stress architecture’s key role in cultivating this community of care: all Carehaus residents would live in independent units clustered around common spaces that support shared meals, childcare, and activities such as art workshops, fitness, physical therapy, financial literacy courses, and gardening.
Working with Aijen Poo, co-founder of Caring Across Generations, and National Domestic Workers Alliance worker-leaders, the Carehaus team is drawing upon the power of architecture to address a challenge faced by both caregivers and care-receivers alike—housing precarity. Currently, caregivers report that some 60% of their income goes towards paying rent. At the same time, elders needing care are faced with very limited and often insufficient options. In response to this challenge, Carehaus is designed around “care-based co-housing,” a strategy focused on dignified care for elders and sustainable jobs and living conditions for caregivers.