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Access Type

Campus-Only Access for One (1) Year

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



This thesis addresses innovation in affordable housing. Many people face homelessness or suffer from the burden of renting a house that they cannot afford. In Boston, Massachusetts only 35% of the population are homeowners, resulting in more people renting in the city if they manage to find housing there at all. The increasing cost of housing in the United States presents a significant obstacle for immigrant families, many of whom are already struggling to make a living due to language barriers and limited access to employment opportunities. As housing prices continue to rise across the country, immigrant families face mounting challenges in securing safe and affordable housing, which can result in overcrowding, homelessness, and other adverse outcomes that exacerbate existing social and economic inequalities. To address the housing problem this research engages the solution of high-quality affordable housing for immigrant families in Chelsea, MA (a suburban neighborhood of Boston) by analyzing density and methods of prefabrication. Along with the solution of affordability, the intellectual node of the thesis also discusses the importance of suburbia and its advantage vi of providing a nurturing community. This thesis intends to develop certain functional parameters of design using a Prefabricated Panelized Approach. The prefabricated design for affordability approach provides a technique which can save time and money using off-site manufacturing of products and on-site assembly. This kind of development offers an opportunity to optimize the construction process and an efficient way to build affordable housing. Through this approach, the thesis intends to provide opportunities for home ownership, promote a sense of community among immigrant families, and offer language support to facilitate their growth.


First Advisor

Erika H. Zekos

Second Advisor

Ann W. Marshall