Thursday, May 13

Portable shelter for Grandma

Credit: MEDcottages
A really cool idea out of Blacksburg has just won over the Virginia General Assembly. It's called the MEDcottage. Kenneth Dupin, a Methodist pastor, devised a portable housing unit for elderly people who need special medical facilities. Instead of being sent off to a nursing home, grandma or grandpa can set themselves up in their children's backyard with a high-tech fully equipped temporary shelter. It would be leased for about $2000 a month, and the family can ship it away once it's no longer needed.

I don't believe much of the design work has been completed yet, but there are all sorts of ways to make these units attractive. Modular and adaptable housing is getting a lot of attention from architects these days, and I'm sure there are no shortage of designers who would like to hook up with this new company. Trailer homes are certainly not what they used to be.

In urban and suburban areas, Accessory Dwelling Units like this are often severely regulated by local zoning ordinances, written to appease neighbors who do not believe they fit the character of their living environment. But the MEDcottage may be different. Because the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against necessary provisions for disabled individuals, Dupin makes the case that local zoning codes may have to allow them. At any rate, the General Assembly's decision will supersede local codes, at least under certain conditions. This may open up a door of opportunity for creative densification, diversification, and intergenerational bonds in neighborhoods throughout the state.

1 comment:

Morgan said...

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