New Paper Explores Promising Cost-Containment Approaches for Accelerated, Efficient Affordable Housing Development

SAN FRANCISCO, May 31, 2019—A new paper released by BRIDGE Housing details promising construction and technology approaches that could help communities and developers create housing more quickly and efficiently.

Faster, Better, More,” prepared for BRIDGE by Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF), focuses primarily on available technologies and strategies that can impact materials and labor costs. The paper explores the benefits, potential cost savings, challenges and considerations of techniques such as offsite construction (OSC), including panelized systems, complete modules and hybrid typologies. Among the numerous potential advantages of OSC:

  • More efficient use of raw materials
  • Dual tracking site work and unit construction
  • Reduced construction loan interest due to shorter construction period

The paper also describes how broader use of more cost-effective and sustainable wood materials and components may offer another opportunity for cost or time savings. Mass timber, for example, presents a host of structural, aesthetic and environmental benefits that may also offer direct and indirect cost savings, particularly as these products become more commonplace and efficiencies of scale are achieved.

The paper provides several policy recommendations that can support innovation and adoption of cost-containment techniques. And included in the appendices are resources such as vendor and manufacturer profiles, and comparisons of features, time and costs.

“The need for quality affordable rental housing is greater than ever, but the cost of creating and preserving these homes is growing unsustainably,” said Cynthia Parker, President and CEO of BRIDGE Housing. “The crisis demands innovative approaches that will help rapidly increase the housing supply. Cost containment is an essential strategy for BRIDGE and other mission-driven developers.”

“We are grateful to the many manufacturers profiled in the paper for taking the time to speak with us and to teach us about the strengths and limitations of their systems,” said Andrea Ponsor, COO and EVP-Policy for SAHF. “While many of these approaches have not yet realized their full potential time and cost savings, we were impressed by the early results of these manufacturers and by their demonstrated interest in creating high quality homes that are affordable to a broad range of people.”

To download a free copy of “Faster, Better, More,” visit


BRIDGE Housing Corporation, a leading nonprofit developer and owner of affordable housing, creates and manages a range of high-quality, affordable homes for families and seniors. Since it was founded in 1983, BRIDGE has participated in the development of more than 17,000 homes. For more information, visit

Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) is a collaborative of thirteen exemplary multi-state nonprofit affordable housing providers who own more than 140,000 rental homes. SAHF members are committed to long-term affordability, sustainability and expansion of rental housing that makes a difference in people’s lives. SAHF’s mission is to advance the creation and preservation of healthy, sustainable affordable rental homes that foster, equity, opportunity and wellness for people of limited economic resources. For more information, visit

BRIDGE Housing