Is there a safe way to meet the housing needs of people who currently live in windowless, cramped or illegal apartments riddled with fire hazards? Thats what five groups of architects will try to answer, and even put forward plans to do just that, at a symposium called Making Room to be held at the Japan Society Monday morning.

The symposium, sponsored by the Citizens Housing and Planning Council, emerged out of an effort to address the demand for illegally sub-divided apartments, illegal basements and other housing units that rent in an underground housing market. CHPC director Jerilyn Perine said its only right that the city vacate these dangerous living spaces, but there should also be a strategy for figuring out where the people who get displaced will live.

“The guy who brought you your Chinese food delivery where does he live, students that you see on the train, where are they living, asked Perine, who once headed the citys Department of Housing Preservation and Development. We have to start thinking about peoples lives for real not just how we would like to imagine success, like everyone is married with two kids in a house or a big apartment some place.”

Read more in WNYC.