DesignPhiladelphia Feature

Community Ventures’ mission and work was featured by DesignPhiladelphia News. Our program director, Troy Hannigan, spoke with DesignPhiladelphia about our approach to developing affordable and sustainable housing in partnership with local communities. Read the full article here: PASSIVE HOUSES, ACTIVE ACCESS: HOW PHILLY DESIGNERS AND DEVELOPERS ARE BUILDING A BETTER FUTURE

Centennial Village | Photo by: MING Media

A snapshot from the article:

Community Ventures, a nonprofit affordable housing developer that partners with neighborhood groups “ideally over a long period of time; decades, usually” to help transform and stabilize their locales. “It’s always been about working with neighborhoods that have a lot of vacancies, that have a lot of blight, that need to be revitalized.”

Many people — developers and residents alike — often subscribe to the idea that affordable housing equals cheap design. But Hannigan says that’s not true. “True affordable and sustainable housing is affordable and sustainable in the long run as well, with design and materials that are going to last for a long time, that aren’t going to bring down a neighborhood but also help transform it,” he adds. “All residents, all people, should have access to high quality design. You shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between affordable and market-rate housing.”

That’s why Community Ventures works with design firms like Bright Common, focusing on what Hannigan calls their quadruple bottom line: people, profit, planet, and placemaking, based from the idea that “equity and sustainability go hand in hand.”

Avellino, Hannigan, and other leaders in the Philly development space have seen how sustainable, equitable design can redefine home spaces, create new community centers, and shift the way homeowners think about energy and the earth. And their work is beginning to make an even wider impact.