Since it appears that the city has its back against the wall regarding the low income housing problem, I would like to suggest new options.

Architects in London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and around the world are building floating structures and villages on “blue space” sites, using “green” materials, and incorporating solar power. These blue spaces include manmade features like docks, piers, marinas, and artificial islands. The advantages are: minimal disruption to existing communities, a housing solution for floods and rising sea levels, speed of construction, and economy. Amsterdam, for example, is building 18,000 floating homes on 10 artificial islands.

A floating development called Noorderhaven in the Netherlands was studied for its impact on the local ecosystem. It was found to contribute to a dynamic and diverse aquatic habitat for fish and birds in the vicinity of structures. The down side is that buildings could be an obstruction to watercraft, block some views, and might affect silt erosion and deposition. However, on the positive side, an opportunity to build something beautiful and innovative is created.

I have taken a quick look for possible sites along the Silver Strand, and have spotted a few. (Keep in mind the city of Venice, which was built on wood pilings driven into a lagoon. However, the pilings weren’t tall enough to cope with today’s rising tides.) Another possibility is to renovate a retired ship, preferably a cruise ship, by converting cabins into apartments. It would be best to find a ship with balconies for each space. If the ship was tied up to a dock along the Strand, it would have access to bus routes. There would be recreational facilities on board, and any developer who took on the project could add restaurants and entertainment venues, such as a theater, which would be open to the public. As on any cruise ship, there could be different “classes” of apartments at different price points, so the prospect of a “low income ghetto” could be avoided. Coronado is allowing people to live aboard boats to meet the housing quota, so why not a larger boat, barge, or former ferry?

I hope that these ideas might provide some solutions, as they have helped alleviate housing shortages for students, seniors, and low income people around the world.

Please feel free to forward this letter to anyone who you think might be interested.


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