This course will devote the first third of the semester to establishing an account of the historical roots of the current affordable housing crisis in the United States, paying particular attention to the local Michiana context. It will also introduce students to the housing “continuum of care” in the City of South Bend, noting the various institutional and governmental agencies currently involved in addressing housing needs as well as the gaps in coverage, e.g. the need for a permanent low-barrier intake center. The second part of the course will involve community engagement as students help to plan and organize a day-long conference on the local housing continuum of care, tentatively scheduled for Feb. 10, 2023, at the St. Joseph County Public Library. Students will have the opportunity to follow up on the fruits of that conference, networking with area housing agencies and local government entities and researching best practices in other urban areas. During this segment of the course, students will have the opportunity to engage with experts in the field, both virtually and in person, funded by research monies. This work will lead into their own constructive proposals for a concrete contribution to meeting the current affordable and supportive housing needs in South Bend and St. Joseph County more broadly. The intention is to offer this lab course again in Spring 2024, which will build upon the work begun by students in this initial iteration and align with the housing needs most relevant at that point.
Class Dates: Tuesdays 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.