Carnegie Mellon University
2021 MSSD_Afshan Rehman_Synthesis Book.pdf (4.05 MB)

Triple Bottom Line Redistribution in Mixed-Income Housing Through Transition Spaces

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posted on 2023-08-02, 20:29 authored by Afshan Rehman
Though the Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) promote the presence of sustainability features, they are extremely time consuming, expensive, and competitive to win. Developers tend to apply for these rating systems to increase their chances of winning the tax credits, often overlooking the full potential of the LIHTC. Policy makers and local housing authorities have been looking at various models of mixed-income housing to provide more affordable houses to the poor and to reduce social inequality. Though scholars and urban planners agree that mixed-income housing benefits people from lower incomes through proximal role-modelling and promotion of tolerance, case-studies show limited economic integration of the middle-income tenants and the poor. Transition spaces are spaces that need community interaction daily and issues of safety can be addressed through design of transition spaces. There is a huge opportunity here as developers are willing to implement any positive design change that benefits the community and existing LIHTC talk vaguely about transition spaces and credits are given for improved health and economic growth but how it can be achieved through design is not specified.
This research proposes a new model that takes a soon to be developed mixed-income housing development in PA and proposes various design interventions to be implemented in the transition spaces of the housing, by equally distributing strategies for environmental, social, and economic growth thereby increasing their chances of winning the LIHTC. The new methodology will negate social and spatial disparities and create an equitable model for social and spatial justice.




Degree Type

  • Master's Thesis


  • Architecture

Degree Name

  • Master of Science in Sustainable Design (MSSD)


Joshua Bard Dana Cupkova Valentina Vavasis Azadeh Sawyer

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