The public service heroes who have ushered the global public through conflicts, upheaval and the pandemic are deserving of complete recognition. Whatever their background, these workers deserve a place to disengage and rest peacefully following the day’s work – unfortunately, as The Guardian US outlines, over half of American workers simply cannot afford to purchase a property. This includes many medical workers, police, firefighters and veterans. Arguably, affordable housing must be provided for these groups. Taking it to the next level, and providing bespoke developments that cater to the exact needs of these everyday heroes, is even better.
Homes for veterans
A good place to look at what can be done is with veterans. Veterans, of course, have access to some of the better credit facilities in the country due to the VA loan system. How VA loans work is fairly simple; the federal administration provides a guarantee on mortgages purchased through the system, and the down payment is greatly reduced, to help veterans get on the ladder as soon as possible. Taking architecture and molding it to the needs of veterans is entirely possible, too. Political mag The Hill outlines the donation of $250,000 worth of tiny homes by Arnold Schwarzenegger, for instance, to homeless and struggling vets in California. These homes seem simple, and are, but are designed in an exacting fashion to provide to the specific needs of veterans.
The design of these tiny homes is only possible through builders learning lessons on the exact needs of veterans. This lesson learning process is important, and can be used for other groups. Take, for instance, healthcare workers. During the height of the pandemic, over 3.4 million hotel rooms were made available around the country, according to Forbes, for temporary or mobile workers. This gives a clear indication as to the needs and requirements of healthcare workers, and can influence affordable housing design in the future. It doesn’t need to be big, or bold; simply a calm and roomy enough area can be hugely beneficial to worn out healthcare heroes.
Inspiration from overseas
A hint as to how these homes could be built up can be found overseas. In the UK, a self-build homes for veterans scheme hosted by advocates Alabare will see the creation of sustainable, low-carbon and self-contained affordable housing built up. While this specific development concerns housing for rent, with the ideal being that future generations of veterans in need can use the housing for themselves, it is a positive trend that is being promoted further across the country, and in the USA. Providing a scheme where skills can be built and where veterans have a hand in the design of their own accommodation is a great way to create purpose-built housing.
Identifying the needs of these heroes and building around that ideal is the unifying factor. Housing is a must-have for people that undergo trauma in their everyday lives. Making it specific to them shows that society cares.