A New Mission
The housing crisis in America has become urgent.
"Twenty-five percent of all American households face severe housing challenges, including insufficient funds for monthly rent or mortgage payments, maintenance and repairs; overcrowding, both within individual dwellings and in high-density multifamily developments; and structural deficiencies. These 30 million households include not just the poorest and those without jobs, but also teachers, librarians, firefighters, health care workers and many others who make significant contributions to our communities."
U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development .
Homeownership remains central to the American Dream. Americans of all income levels spend much of their time, energy and resources on a safe, secure and attractive place to live. As set by HUD , "The generally accepted definition of affordability is for a household to pay no more than thirty percent of its annual income on housing. Families who pay more than thirty percent of their income for housing are considered cost burdened and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, medical care, clothing, and transportation." No family should have to bear that burden.
Merabi & Sons believes that a real estate investment and development company must accept a particular responsibility for ensuring the availability of affordable housing for every American. The company is therefore launching comprehensive affordable housing programs on both coasts in the first major expansion of Merabi & Sons since corporate headquarters were moved to New York City in 1979.
Beyond simply building basic housing, Merabi & Sons will focus on creating desirable homes that appeal to both residents and communities, with carefully positioned units and buildings and quality of life elements including community centers, childcare facilities and libraries incorporated into the design of each project. In the spirit of Merabi & Sons' long commitment to charitable works, the company's leadership is proud to be establishing an affordable housing tradition to pass on to their children and grandchildren.
The Difference is Design
With innovative design, charity and profit can and should come together to close the widening gap in the availability of affordable housing. The experience of Design Matters of the City Design Center in designing New York City ' s state-funded project Battery Park City underscores the central importance of design: "An affordable housing project can be resisted by the community every step of the way, or welcomed. It can be a problem that gets progressively worse or an asset for its neighborhood for decades. It can be a constant source of discomfort and resentment for everyone who lives in and around it. Or it can provide the people who live there with everything we all expect from our home: comfort, security, an atmosphere to thrive and do our best in. More than anything else, the difference is design."
Good building design adds value to communities and fosters civic pride. Well-designed affordable housing projects raise area property values and can also spark neighborhood revitalization and encourage responsible property management. Low-income families benefit from expanded education and work opportunities and a higher quality of life. Everyone benefits from reduced commuter traffic, a reduced drain on public safety resources, improved environmental conditions and lower social costs. The interaction of individuals and families from many different backgrounds contributes to richer social experiences for everyone. As emphasized by a Merabi & Sons affordable housing designer, "Good design provides benefits at all stages of the development process. It is easy to see how a well-designed, well-built project that fits into its neighborhood will be good for its occupants, its community and the Merabi & Sons team. If the end product is good, everyone wins."
Merabi & Sons agrees strongly with "HUD" that "Quality design can be affordable. Affordable housing can embody quality design." Company CEO and President Kambiz Merabi has been busy touring affordable housing structures across the United States, visiting Washington D.C. ' s "Affordable Housing" exhibition, meeting with local, regional and national policymakers and consulting with leading architects. As Merabi & Sons ' future projects will demonstrate, America ' s architects are increasingly creating affordable housing that is durable, environmentally sensitive, comfortable, attractive and economical to maintain while ensuring economic incentives for builders. With new affordable housing options, builders can also protect the future of their projects by creating a profit center offering extended warranty service programs that benefit both those creating and those living in affordable housing.
The Last Frontier
The City Design Center of the University of Illinois at Chicago sees affordable housing as "the Last Frontier in building." As a dedicated pioneer in the movement to provide desirable homes for lower income citizens, Merabi & Sons approaches the challenge of affordable housing in the new millennium as an opportunity to create assets for all stakeholders. Thoughtfully designed Merabi & Sons projects will present new opportunities for the least wealthy Americans, create real value as assets for their surrounding communities and contribute to the growing legacy of the company itself. Affordable can now most definitely be both beautiful and profitable.
Merabi&Sons' innovative American Barnraiser housing projects will prove that those developing affordable housing can employ design excellence as a tool to create value in economic, social and cultural terms for residents, communities and builders alike. Modern contemporary buildings and restored historic structures will be designed to focus on the needs of tenants and will display sensitivity to the human experience in all public and private spaces including transition zones and common areas. Units will be structured to provide flexibility for different family types, easy expansion and personalization. Project designers will position units and buildings to optimize views, ventilation and accessibility. Affordable housing now offers a foundation for the future that America as a people can take pride in.
Merabi and Sons, the premiere Real Estate Company in the world.