UPDATED, Sept. 17, 2019: Kanye West's affordable housing initiative, Yeezy Home, backtracked last week when at least three of his low-cost, futuristic housing prototypes were demolished due to building code violations, as reported by TMZ.
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works imposed a Sept. 15 deadline for West to secure a building permit, which West reportedly failed to do. The prototypes had been built on West's property in Calabasas, CA.
It is unclear if West will continue efforts to develop affordable housing or grow his Yeezy Home business venture.
- Rap artist and entrepreneur Kanye West last month announced Yeezy Home, an initiative to "make the world better" through architectural design.
- On Monday, West and collaborators Jalil Peraza, Petra Kustrin, Nejc Skufca and Vadik Marmelado unveiled renderings of an affordable housing prototype constructed from prefabricated concrete and expanded polystyrene.
- The low-cost housing project appears to be in early stages; a timeline or location for development has not yet been announced.
All that can be assumed from the renderings posted on Jalil Peraza's Instagram page is the start of a low-income housing project — whether or not it's directly tied to Yeezy Home. ArchDaily Managing Editor Rory Stott posted a significant reminder on Twitter this week that there's no indication Peraza's posts are actually tied to West's initiative to "make the world better," and we may not get clarity on the correlation any time soon.
Reminder to architecture journalists that nowhere in the 2 Instagram posts that are the sum total of everything we know about Kanye's "affordable housing" project does it even say that the project was done for Yeezy Home.— Rory Stott (@StottR) June 4, 2018
That said, West and Peraza's posts have resulted in praise from social media followers, and excitement around the potential of increased affordable housing options in U.S. cities. And while it's unlikely that West will actually become the Donald Shoup of affordable housing, that excitement could be a small step in propelling and supporting affordable housing projects that are already on the ground in cities like Denver and Seattle.
Similar to how Elon Musk's fame and success has increased interest in innovations such as hyperloop or solar energy, an influencer like West can bolster awareness of housing crises and inspire developers to enter the affordable housing market. If West's low-income housing project does actually come to fruition, it will be an interesting journey to watch, but if nothing else, West is helping to shed some light on a national crisis and the possible solutions that can fix it.