The first time we saw a chalk outline and its attendant crimson stain was outside an SRO on Lex and 24th, way back when. You don't want to live in an SRO (single-room-occupancy building) or the PJ's (housing projects), even if Le Corbusier thought they were a good idea.
But now architects are taking another...pass (we almost wrote "stab") at low-income housing, not just in Brad Pitt-sanctioned projects but all around the country, from Brooklyn to Wyoming. Why? "Issues of sustainability are more important in the affordable-housing field than in the luxury field," says one architect, while others realized they can use attractive architecture to battle community opposition to having low-income housing in their neighborhoods. The Journal's got a comprehensive explanation of the movement here, featuring a roundup of current developments going up in Chicago, LA, Seattle, New York, and other places.