In the U.S., beautiful housing is usually reserved for those who can afford to pay a premium. Few American cities have adopted the high-design ethos behind affordable housing programs the way European cities like Vienna have. Thoughtful social housing does exist here, albeit not in as great of a quantity as we’d like. But here, you’ll see a step in the right direction. The American Institute of Architects and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have announced their picks for the 2014 AIA/HUD Secretary Awards, a prize that recognizes exemplary design in affordable housing.
The four projects recognized “are shining examples of how the latest innovations in design, materials, and building techniques are not just for high-end housing but can also offer lower-income families exceptional homes they can actually afford,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a press statement.
Check them out in the slide show above.