Small Housing Case Study: Pre-Approved Building Plans (United States)

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Key insights:

The City of South Bend recognized that the community needed to have more housing, and at the same time, bring neighbourhoods back to life. There were around 400 vacant lots in one of the city’s neighbourhoods (Near Northwest Neighbourhood) alone.

In June, 2022, Mayor James Mueller announced the New Neighborhood Homes Initiative. The main goal of this initiative is to build more homes that South Benders can afford and to ensure well-designed infill housing on vacant land that will increase the marketability of those neighbourhoods. Furthermore, housing market studies also revealed a growing mismatch between the available housing stock of large single-family homes and a shift in demographic trends towards smaller households that prefer walkable neighborhoods.

This Small Housing Case study explores how the City recognized that fostering more diverse housing options could play an important role in meeting those needs and creating a high quality of life for residents.