Location and Category Descriptions
Websites in the database are included, and their descriptions are created, entirely at the discretion of the author. However, every effort is made to provide a consistent method of categorizing websites and their content.
For ease of discussion, all providers of websites in this database (agencies, associations, projects, institutions, centers, shelters, etc.) will be referred to as “organizations.”
Websites are categorized under the location of their organization’s primary office, study, project, or focus area. If a regional or multi-national focus is given, every effort is made to provide the best description of location possible. State and city locations are provided when available. The Worldwide Locations category includes all organizations that serve multiple nations without a central focus location.
Specific city and state locations included do not necessarily indicate scope of coverage, rather the office location. For example, the location of an agency that serves an entire country, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, is listed as “USA, D.C., Washington” to indicate its office headquarters, rather than the geographical range in which its services are provided.
Websites are classified under as many categories as are applicable to provide the greatest detail and cross-referencing capabilities possible. Categories are divided into four main subjects, Type of Resource, Issues, Development, and Type of Housing.
Organizations are listed in these categories to provide the user with background information about each organization relating to its financial, governmental, and membership status, as well as its served population and reason for creation.
- Multi-National, National, State / Regional / Local
- These three categories are aimed at describing the target population of specified agencies, projects, or studies. Multi-National includes organizations serving cooperating or multiple countries; National includes organizations serving a single country; and State / Regional / Local includes organizations serving populations at those scales. In cases where a National agency targets local communities for development assistance, for instance, the website is listed under both the National and the State / Regional / Local categories. This category aims at assisting users in narrowing their search to those agencies serving populations on a specific scale.
- Membership Group
- This category includes various associations, unions, chapters, societies and similar organizations that serve a distinct population or membership group. In most cases, membership requires payment of a fee or due. This category is included to provide easy access to those professional affiliations users may want to join or contact.
- Non-Profit Organization, Private Business
- These two categories are intended to provide information about the financial background and goals of the listed organization. Organizations are listed as non-profit organizations only if the website specifically uses that designation. Similarly, organizations are listed as a private business only if it is clear that services are provided by the organization as commercial activities as a means of financial sustenance. Useful non-profit organizations and businesses not directed solely to housing issues or including housing- related projects are cataloged in the Other Resources list.
- Index / Periodical
- This category includes websites consisting primarily of articles, books, newsletters, or other periodical material, as well as those websites comprising large indices, lists, bibliographies, or similar catalogs. Libraries, search engines, and book reviews are listed under this category. Searching by this category provides the user direct access to bibliographic information, larger searching capabilities, and additional links to related organizations.
- University Program
- This category includes organizations involved in housing programs, projects, development, or research directly sponsored or coordinated by an established academic institution. Searching by this category provides users quick access to a variety of research, publications, and projects taking place in cooperation with the world’s institutions of higher education. Schools, departments, divisions, and colleges of architecture, urban planning, design, landscape architecture, sociology, environmental science, construction management, and other related fields are cataloged in the Other Resources list.
Organizations are listed in this subject’s categories to provide the user with background information about each organization relating to its primary issue of concern, study, or service.
- Affordable / Assisted
- This category includes organizations providing information about methods of lowering or subsidizing the cost of housing. Methods discussed may include subsidies, special interest loans, affordable construction, sustainable design practices, cooperative developments, low-cost materials, recycling, and the like. Websites that discuss public housing, unique mortgages, and other means of government assistance are also listed here, as are products, businesses, and programs geared at lowering the cost of housing.
- Disability Concern
- This category includes all organizations dealing with the housing needs of disabled persons. Issues include, but are not limited to, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Fair Housing, accessible design, specially designed products, available housing, and various other related legal concerns. This category covers the wide range of issues regarding disabled persons and their growing need for Fair Housing and accessible design, both in the home and surrounding environment.
- Fair Housing
- This category contains websites dealing with the provision of fair and equal housing for all persons, regardless of age, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or physical ability. It is the intent of this category to provide information about ongoing projects, discrimination cases, legal issues, and similar topics, not contact information for every Fair Housing office worldwide.
- Legal / Policy
- This category includes websites covering the wide gamut of housing and policy law. Use of this category is beneficial for persons searching for specific housing Acts and regulations, legal cases, planning and design review methods; issues of historic preservation, public housing, and federal aid; and all other related legal topics. Legal institutions, clinics, policy organizations, and legal search engines are listed as well.
- Special Interest / Minority
- This category contains information about organizations specifically serving special interest groups or minority populations that may include religious, ethnic, racial, gender or sexual affiliations. These organizations generally describe services for, or legal actions about, minority interests.
Organizations are listed in this subject’s categories to provide the user with background information about each organization relating to its devotion to issues of construction and design; and architectural, environmental, sustainable, neighborhood, and community development.
- Construction / Product
- This category includes organizations providing housing-specific products and methods of construction. In many cases, these organizations provide information, services, products, or construction techniques that are aimed at increasing housing affordability and efficiency, or are non-traditional in nature. Non-housing-specific products and construction organizations are cataloged in the Other Resources list.
- Design / Architectural
- This category provides easy access to information solely about the design and architecture of housing in the built environment. Affordable plans, efficient designs, architectural studies and the like are included. Unless noting innovative and dynamic projects and programs, schools of design and architecture are cataloged in the Other Resources list rather than in this category.
- Environmental / Sustainable
- Websites in this category relate to the environmental impacts of housing on the landscape, methods of conservation, sustainable building practices, cooperative living arrangements, energy efficiency, and other methods of efficient living. Environmental and energy related organizations not specifically targeting housing issues are cataloged in the Other Resources list.
- Neighborhood / Community
- This category includes organizations geared toward increasing, redefining, and promoting neighborhood and community development through housing. Community Development Corporations, housing associations, community action techniques, comprehensive plans, and neighborhood organizations are included. Similarly, related legislation and policy, community organizers, events, and cooperative grassroots efforts are also provided. This category is intended to provide ease of access to issues relating to housing and its important presence in the greater community.
Organizations are listed in this subject’s categories to provide the user with background information about each organization relating to its primary focus on specific types of housing arrangements.
- Assisted Living
- This category includes information about, and residential sites for, assisted living residences. “Assisted living” generally refers to housing for the ill or elderly who need only partial assistance in their daily routines. These residences provide cooperative environments of varying medical, residential, recreational and social support. Unlike typical “nursing homes,” assisted living cooperatives typically provide assistance on a need-only, case-by-base basis. This category is intended to provide ease of access to issues relating to assisted living arrangements and their important presence in the greater housing community.
- Cohousing / Cooperative
- Cohousing combines the individuality of autonomous dwelling units with the advantages of dense neighborhood living by including self-sufficient private living space for each family, and community common spaces. In this sense, cohousing effectively manages the entire community atmosphere at the small scale. Organizations listed in this category display active cohousing or cooperative communities, detail the efficiency and affordability of these types of living arrangements, or discuss the importance of the relationships created within such communities.
- Hospice / Healthcare
- This category includes sites including information about the variety of residential, emotional, medical, and physical support services provided by hospice and healthcare organizations online. Typically, these hospice sites refer to housing for HIV and AIDS patients, their families, or persons afflicted with other long-term diseases. In cases of assisted living, hospice, hospital, retirement, nursing home and other medically responsive living arrangements, healthcare is directly related to residents’ housing needs, and organizations within this category provide information about those needs.
- This category includes websites providing information about zoning, design techniques, efficiency, and affordability of manufactured homes. Also sometimes referred to as mobile homes, trailers, or prefabricated homes, the manufactured home industry is growing as affordability and efficiency of this American housing type increases. Unfortunately, a lingering social and economic stigma often surrounds manufactured home communities, so zoning is often a serious problem. Sites within this category discuss these concerns and issues of their placement within the surrounding community.
- Shelter / Homeless
- Websites in this category provide information about homelessness in general, and shelters offering assistance, support, food, and temporary housing to those who would otherwise be homeless. Specific shelters are listed, as are research institutions, agencies and other organizations aiming to study and eliminate the causes of homelessness in the United States and worldwide.
- Single Room Occupancy
- Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels have historically played a vital role in housing as a prominent affordable housing option for the lower income population of the United States’ urban locales. This category includes websites providing information about SROs, studies about their importance, programs and projects aimed at their redevelopment, and a few locations of existing SROs.
- This category includes information about studies, programs, services, and locations of transitional housing, typically created for persons in need of immediate and temporary housing often due to unforeseen circumstances. In many cases, assistance is provided to battered wives, abused children, recently unemployed individuals, or other persons in need of prompt aid. Generally, job training, employment placement assistance, child care facilities, emotional and social support, security, and other services are provided to residents of transitional housing developments.