How might Silicon Valley tackle a core social issue like housing?

exploring ideas & approaches for my Houslets project – low-cost mobile modular building. Follow project at @houslets.

hybrid-seattle_container-housing

Houslets

 

 

 

 

 

 

@antheaws is Anthea Watson Strong, who works for Google’s Social Impact team in Washington D.C. She launched the Google Civic Information API.

Then another thread joined, via Cameron Sinclair, who co-founded Architecture for Humanity in 1999, and is now senior advisor at the Jolie-Pitt Foundation. He is based in San Francisco.

more info about this: Re:build redeployable, modular, low-cost / low-skill building system.

“#socent” = social enterprise business.

Jennifer Loving is Executive Director of Destination: Home, “a public-private partnership serving as the backbone organization for reducing chronic homelessness in Santa Clara County.”

Sam Liccardo @sliccardo is San Jose City Council member for District 3 (adjoins Coyote Creek encampment), and also currently in runoff for San Jose Mayor. He has proposed and campaigned on a major program to create microunit housing for SJ’s unhoused population, exploring possibilities such as prefab or 3D printed structures.

Later on, another thread entered in, via leading Silicon Valley gadfly & critic Vivek Wadhwa’s post in Washington Post’s, Innovations blog: “Come on, Silicon Valley, you can do better than this” focusing on Andreessen Horowitz venture-capital firm’s $1.2M investment in the Yo messaging app.

I have in mind, for example, Facebook’s Open Compute Project, global open-source building/facility design project for data centers. Large tech cos constantly relocate and house employees, as e.g. energy companies long have. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has long been interested in employee housing, and Facebook offered $600/month to employees in its early days to live within 1 mile of headquarters. FB is currently building the Anton Menlo 394-unit housing complex for employees next to its Menlo Park headquarters – a sort of Silicon Valley, market-rate reinterpretation of “company town” housing.

well, in any case, it got some attention from Andreessen. Such attention is scarce & valuable — good work, Vivek!

Andreessen-favorites

back to Coyote Creek Camp discussion:

it was a good day for Houslets conversation, and incidentally a nice example of Twitter ad-hoc dialogue and network-forming between disparate people/interests. I give thanks for this moment with the classic Ice Cube track “It Was a Good Day” from 1993, the year Andreessen graduated and moved to California to start Netscape. (see also, “Why Andreessen Horowitz Is Investing in Rap Genius” by Andreessen, 2012).

1 comments
robertkellum
robertkellum

I wasn't aware of this in Silicon Valley, though it's tragedy in our society is no surprise, nor is the dismissal of its inhabitants in medical term as "chronically homeless" any better depiction of how we assuage our guilt as a culture around this. Putting your architectural skills into a micro-house community here would be a phenomenal way to convert this Potter's Field into a New Bedford Falls.  Such a brilliant grant worthy enterprise…….Bob Kellum