The Artist Housing Studio in the Urban Policy and Planning Graduate Program at Hunter College has compiled research from critical US cities, which has provided insight to answer three guiding questions:
- What is the definition of an artist when applied to affordable artist housing?
- Where has affordable housing for artists been successful?
- How can affordable housing be legally designated for artists based on an occupation?
Artists are essential to the creation of a vibrant city. Their work and presence make neighborhoods attractive to residents, business, and tourists alike. Their impacts and effects that they have on a space are in great demand, but affordable housing for artists and creative placemakers is not often provided in the places where they are needed most. Nationally, affordable housing is in short supply, and greatly needed especially in large metropolitan areas. Across the country, where cities are a grappling with the task to create affordable housing, affordable housing designated specifically for the artists that make the cities valuable places to live is often overlooked.
Artists have special needs based on their work. More commonly unable to derive stable income from their work, identifying housing options and securing affordable housing with intricate financial processes is difficult. In consideration that artist needs are specific, often requiring specialized spaces, from black box theaters to darkrooms, rent on such spaces is unaffordable and difficult to find.