I think Habitat EDs (executive directors) should read this and incorporate its thinking into their projects. Anyone thinking of designing for Habitat should read this and incorporate its ideas on both form and process into their work. I've been working with local Habitat groups for 20 years and found useful information.
As a long time Habitat Chester County (PA,) Habitat Philadelphia volunteer, and full-time general contractor, I highly recommend this book because it tells us how to build decent, affordable housing that does not have to be so basic that it's ugly.
Assembling a parcel of land to build on is a complicated and slow process sometimes. For Habitat, especially in large cities, is is onerous; finding out who owns the land, what back taxes are unpaid, what city, county, or quasi-governmental agency approval is necessary further slows the building process down.
Having architects involved greatly enhances the aesthetics, and with their professional registration stamps on plans, helps move the whole thing along more smoothly.
The Phase Two Stiles St. homes, featured in Chapter 9, which I helped build, clad in low maintenance fire-proof, fiber-cement siding, show how important it is to design a house that "fits" into a 100+ year-old neighborhood. The Project 1800 homes, in Chapter 7, are getting a new neighbor; we are infilling a row house as a "missing tooth" in a otherwise continuous block of houses.
We all know that, by definition, there is no money to be made in building Habitat houses, and that architects are business people too. Architects could simply decide to design only for the wealthy.
The fact that so many firms now help Habitat shows us how generous the firms are, and more importantly, how good they are at designing houses on a "shoestring" budget that are elegant and beautiful.
Overall this book is a little dry and the author goes on quite a bit about the interpersonal struggles between the architects and the Habitat folks, but love all the site plans and illustrations as well as the whole concept.