Providing housing for low-income families while not segregating economic class can be tricky, but one village proves a mix-income subdivision is possible.
In East Greenwich, Rhode Island, a tiny home community known as Cottages on Greene is composed of mix-income families is an example of effective infill housing or housing that is built in an already approved and completed subdivision. The project is intended to provide affordable housing units that are also sustainable. Cottages on Greene was approved in 2009 and once completed, there were barely any vacant cottages left.
Initially, the project would not have been approved due to the city's zoning laws, but city officials were able to justify the project by proving significant socioeconomic benefits that would come with Cottages on Greene. 15 cottages were planned and built, two of them belonging to households with owners below the 80 percent median income (AMI) and three sold to those with an AMI under 120 percent.
The houses are designed to look similar enough to disguise the lower-income housing within the other homes. Their sizes range from 851 to 1,094 square feet depending on the home. There is also a community garden to bring a sense of community and to continue their mission of sustainability. The cottages also come with energy-efficient household appliances, eco-conscious heating and air conditioning and double-paned windows.
The project gained recognition from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is used as a successful case study on their website.