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Is Flexible Housing Coming to the District?

  • February 19, 2014

by Lark Turner

Is Flexible Housing Coming to the District?: Figure 1
A flexible development in Canada. Design by Group2 Architecture Interior Design.

At an architecture-themed mayoral debate Tuesday night, Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells touted a new form of flexible housing that he claims could be a solution for many DC families fleeing to the suburbs when they start having children.

The concept, which Wells referred to as flex multifamily housing, would create movable units within a development that could be connected laterally or vertically to expand, and later contract, based on a family’s needs.

Wells also hinted that a project of this nature could be in the cards for DC.

“I think we’re close to where at least one’s going to be proposed,” he told the audience at the AIA|DC-hosted forum.

A similar concept, called FlexHousing, was developed and trademarked by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation last year. One such multifamily flex development is currently being built in the city of Edmonton. Here’s a description of that project from its developer, redbrick:

“There will be 4 barrier free units on the main floor, and 10 units per floor on the upper three floors. Of these 34 units, 14 will be two bedroom plus flex-room suites, 14 will be one bedroom plus flex-room suites, and 6 will be studio suites. Our team has spent many hours going back and forth to come up with thoughtful suite layouts that would work for families, couples, or singles. The flex-rooms provide an opportunity for adaptable spaces that meet the changing needs of the residents.”

UrbanTurf has reached out to Tommy Wells for comment on the proposed DC project, and is awaiting a response.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/a_new_type_of_flexible_housing_could_be_coming_to_the_district/8141

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