If you recently converted a seldom-used room into an office or your basement into a home theater, you already understand the upside of transforming unused spaces into productive areas that “work,” rather than sit idle.

Finding new ways to use existing spaces is a concept that has fueled the innovative, affordable housing solutions created by architect Ileana Schinder.

“Access to affordable housing is not just about putting people in buildings,” Schinder says. “The current crisis in affordable housing and the ongoing deficit of dwelling units in cities and suburbs highlights the need to re-evaluate the use of private spaces.”

Family dynamics have evolved, society has reframed the role of cities, and ongoing urban realities demand opportunities to create housing for all, from first-time homeowners to retirees, she added.

Schinder’s new book, Housing for Humans: A Book to Imagine, Create and Design a New Housing Model in America, is a provocative exploration into the history and causes of America’s housing crisis that challenges homeowners, policymakers and designers to re-imagine the future of housing for an ever-evolving population.

Schinder makes a compelling case for the design and implementation of additional dwelling units (ADUs) as a way to address the needs of the aging population, boomerang kids and others. Transforming existing spaces, like basements and garages, that once housed “stuff” into livable spaces that now house people has become her passion, and these projects form the infrastructure of Housing for Humans.

By normalizing the economic and personal realities of families in need of affordable housing that offers equitable access to community resources, Schinder launches a much-needed conversation regarding America’s prohibitively expensive housing market and provides a viable, sustainable solution.

photograph of architect Ileana Schinder on stairs

About the Author
Ileana Schinder is an architect in Washington, D.C. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Architecture from Universidad Nacional de Cordoba (Argentina) and an M.A. in Communications from the American University (Washington, D.C.). Inspired to become an architect at age 4 by playing with Legos, she remains motivated to design houses of all sizes 40 years later. Since opening her architecture studio in 2014, she has designed additional dwelling units that create new spaces for clients and their families to thrive. To educate the public on housing issues, Ileana also writes blogs and holds educational sessions to inspire and promote innovative models of homes. Born and raised in Argentina, Ileana lives in Washington, D.C., with her family and their dog, Cecilia.

For more information, please visit https://www.ileanaschinder.com, or follow the author on Facebook (Ileana Schinder, architect), Twitter (@IleanaSchinder) or Instagram (@ileana.schinder).

Housing for Humans: A Book to Imagine, Create and Design a New Housing Model in America
Publisher: Panoma Press
Release Date: October 21, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1784529543
Available online and in bookstores