Housing and Community Development

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Mariposa 1038 (Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects)

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The AIA Housing and Community Development Knowledge Community (HCD) is a network of architects and allied stakeholders that promotes equity in housing, excellence in residential design, and sustainable, vibrant communities for all, through education, research, awards, and advocacy.

  • 1.  Update from the HCD Chair

    Posted 01-14-2021 03:37 PM
    Edited by Maggie Brown 01-14-2021 03:38 PM

    Happy New Year! In spite of the tumultuous times, Housing and Community Development (HCD) had a busy 2020 thanks to the dedication and hard work of our members and the AIA staff. We are looking forward to more collaboration with housing and community development leaders in 2021 and we are hopeful that the new year will bring much needed positive changes.


    COVID-19 has made 2020 an unusual and profoundly challenging year for the world as a whole and individuals everywhere. Equally, 2020 has been a landmark year for social movements, such as Black Lives Matter, in responding to pervasive social inequalities which were made all the more stark by the pandemic. During this time, the concept of housing as a critical foundation for equity and health has risen in visibility, along with the important role of architects in responding through design to the challenges of Covid-19.


    In the absence of in-person events, we learned how to better connect with others virtually. HCD's long established monthly webinars became a crucial asset for maintaining strong connections with members and partners by delivering meaningful educational content in a timely fashion. As always, they are free, open to anyone, and AIA approved CE credit bearing. Webinars are usually offered on the first Monday of the month at noon EST--please see the schedule at the bottom of the post to register for upcoming programs.


    As part of our new way of doing things, we are delighted to report that the 2020 AIA Housing and HUD Secretary Awards recipients will be honored at a special virtual celebration on February 26, 2021 at 6pm EST. Please join us to learn about their work and honor their projects.


    A highlight of 2020 was working intensively with the AIA Strategic Council Housing Area Study group to prepare a white paper that was presented to the AIA Board with the goal of solidifying housing as a top priority for the AIA. We hope to continue this close work in 2021. Additionally, HCD members were part of the AIA Convening on Covid-19 for the multifamily housing and elderly housing facilities working groups, which created best practice guidelines.


    HCD created a research grant to explore how architects and partner professionals collect information to demonstrate the impacts of design efforts for housing and community development. The findings will be delivered in a publication and a webinar in May 2021.


    In February of 2020, HCD members presented with partners at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development at the United Nations World Urban Forum 10 in Abu Dhabi in one of the last in-person gatherings of the year.


    Before it was canceled, HCD had been selected for an AIA pre-convention 2020 workshop entitled "Solving the Housing Crisis: Learning from LA Architects & Others" in partnership with Skid Row Housing Trust; many additional educational opportunities were co-created, but unfortunately canceled or postponed. New programs are already under development and will provide a range of offerings during 2021. We look forward to working with our long-term partners at the Association for Collegiate School of Architecture (ACSA), the National Association of Minority Architects (NOMA), the Association for Community Design (ACD), US Department of Housing and Urban Development and many others.


    We are delighted to welcome six new members to the HCD Advisory Group for 2021: Yanitza Brongers-Marrero AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C for Homes, of Moody-Nolan, Columbus OH; Kristen Chin AIA, of Hester Street, New York NY; Sabrina Herrell, attorney and architect of LOGIK Legal LLC, Chicago IL; Bryant Lui, of Group 4 Architecture Research + Planning, San Francisco CA; Alex Salazar AIA, of Salazar Architects, Portland OR and Adrianne Steichen AIA, of Pyatok, San Francisco CA.


    Looking forward to a productive 2021!


    Elizabeth Debs AIA, 2021 Chair
    Etty Padmodipoetro AIA, 2020 Chair 

    AIA Housing & Community Development Knowledge Community



    Upcoming webinars:

    Saving Superman: adaptive reuse for Providence's skyline

    Feb 1 at 12pm ET | 1 LU/HSW

    Can Land Use Laws Be Fixed? A Look Inside the DesegregateCT Movement

    Mar 1 at 12:pm ET | 1 LU/HSW

    Elizabeth Debs AIA
    Rhode Island School of Design
    Providence RI
    AIA Awards Housing 2021. the book is now available on Amazon! Buy now >