Adaptive Reuse is Gaining Momentum to Tackle the Housing Crisis

 

With the housing market booming and driving up home prices in the US, “adaptive reuse,” or the buying up of large commercial spaces to convert into affordable housing, is gaining momentum. For instance, California’s Project Homekey purchased and converted entire hotels and office buildings into thousands of affordable units — more than 6,000 new units to be exact.

Frederick Becker, associate professor at York College of Pennsylvania, described a few challenges associated with adaptive reuse with Host Hillary Kennedy:

Transient vs. Long-Term Residency

While guests are transient at hotels and other commercial buildings, residents tend to live in a home for a longer amount of time. Converting a commercial space to a residential building changes the legal and operational status to tenant, which poses its own special problems.

Location

Hotels are typically located in high-traffic, convenient locations, like near highways and cities, which isn’t always the most ideal for long-term residents.

Construction

Unless if the space is already outfitted with a full kitchen, like an extended stay, converting a commercial space into an apartment could be difficult and costly.

While travel demand continues to fluctuate due to the pandemic, hotels still continue to provide plenty of value to its community. For instance, Becker commented on how hotels provide individuals an opportunity to explore different places now that more people are able to work remote.

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