Zachary Applegate applied for our Fall Semester 2020 Future Contractor Scholarship and his essay was selected to be one of our voted upon finalists. Below is some student information about Zachary and his essay submission. You can vote for his essay submission by clicking here

Zachary is a junior at Wayne State University, where he’s working towards a degree in construction management. He enjoys his major because he’s fascinated by what those in the industry create and it’s something he has a strong desire to be a part of. Zachary’s goal is to develop structures that people look in awe of. He likes to spend his free time being active outdoors as well as collecting vintage-style tee shirts. Zachary is a cross country and a track and field student athlete for Wayne State University.

Zachary’s essay: With the growing need for housing, specifically affordable housing, how viable are the use of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) to replace the building of full-size, single-family homes? What other options do you think the construction industry should consider when addressing the housing crisis? 

With the growing need for affordable housing, it is important that we begin to take action and put plans in place before we find ourselves amidst a housing crisis. Accessory Dwelling Units or ADU's are an excellent substitute for full size homes. ADU's are extremely affordable compared to houses, one can be purchased outright for somewhere in the ballpark of $50,000. If you build one yourself, it could be made even cheaper. ADU's, being so small, can be built in mass quantities at a facility and then delivered to a plot of land for easy assembly. You can fit many of these tiny dwellings within what might be called a "micro-neighborhood" and they are super easy to maintain. Finally, ADU's could provide a far cheaper alternative for people on limited incomes or people with financial issues than a standard home or apartment. In terms of different options, the construction industry should consider when addressing the housing crisis is who is building whatever sort of dwelling being built. I think that we as human beings need to look out for one another and sometimes that means providing places to live for people who aren't as fortunate. The way construction is now, everything is built with such amazing quality but with that sort of quality there comes a price tag. Instead, what construction companies could do is create different zones of varying prices of homes or apartments. Therefore, allowing people with limited incomes to be able to purchase a place to live without losing an arm and a leg. Another thing construction companies should consider is the materials used when building a home. Not everyone needs granite counter tops and acacia hardwood flooring in their homes. Putting these types of expensive materials in a house may deter younger, less wealthy individuals from considering purchasing a home. We need to think about who we are building for and be considerate of those people before we start throwing up homes or apartment buildings that could sit on the market for months, maybe up to a year. As a student attending Wayne State University, I get a lot of exposure to Detroit, Michigan. The city is coming along in terms of gentrification but one area that concerns me is the homelessness in, and around the city. We build public parks and multi-million-dollar buildings, such as the Hudson site, but we haven't found a place for the people who don't have a home to sleep. I think it’s important that we bring focus down to our values. There must be something we can do as people in order to help these people find a place to stay at night. The shelters are overcrowded, so many individuals opt to sleep on the streets. An affordable hostel or shelter could be presented by the state for organizations to be able to pay for and operate. Or perhaps modular ADU's may just be the answer to ending our homelessness crisis.