The AIANY Housing Committee is launching a new discussion series, “Housing For…” that focuses on housing for often-underserved populations that are often described as vulnerable or as having special needs. Housing stability is often an even greater challenge for these groups, who will be at the center of these conversations around affordable housing. The series will provide attendees with a heightened sensitivity and better understanding of how designers and planners (as well as developers, elected officials, city agencies, and more) can better meet the needs of these households and individuals. How can we do a better job of creating communities where these groups can feel welcome and included?

Each “Housing For…” panel will focus on one particular population and/or “type” of housing, and will comprise a designer or planner, a developer, a representative of a city agency or elected official, and a supportive service provider. We hope to facilitate a well-rounded discussion that embraces the complexities of how the provision of quality housing has a positive impact on communities. To complement each panel, the AIANY Housing Committee will launch a resource page containing an historical overview of the provision of housing for each group, current challenges and issues facing these communities, case studies and best practices, further reading, and additional resources .

The first panel in the series will focus on Housing for Veterans. Veteran housing has a long history in the United States dating back over 200 years and has taken many forms—from domiciliary support, to vouchers incentivizing home ownership in the suburbs, to the stigmatized SROs and flop houses providing shelter to homeless veterans on the Bowery. Today, the need for housing stability within this population is no less great; new strategies have emerged as well as a renewed emphasis on permanent supportive housing over transitional housing.