HCD Webinar: The role of ADUs in addressing the Housing Crisis

When:  Aug 5, 2024 from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM (ET)

The role of ADUs in addressing the Housing Crisis


Course Description:

Join us for an insightful webinar exploring the pivotal role architects play in mitigating the housing crisis through the integration of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and active engagement in housing policy. This session will provide a comprehensive overview of how ADUs can serve as a viable solution for affordable housing, the avenues through which architects can influence policy at both state and city levels, and the importance of forming strategic partnerships with local municipalities. Participants will gain practical knowledge and skills to advocate for and implement housing solutions that align policy with the built environment, ensuring sustainable and inclusive community development.

The webinar is part of a series produced by the AIA Right-to-Housing Working Group. In each episode, we ask: “What does the right to housing mean in practice?” and “How can architects contribute?”

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will gain insights into how ADUs can provide affordable housing solutions, increase urban density, and contribute to the diversification of housing options in urban areas
  • Participants will develop practical skills for designing and implementing ADU projects, including navigating zoning regulations, community engagement, and leveraging incentives and grants to support ADU development through the work of architects who specialize in that work

  • Participants will learn strategies for engaging in policy-making processes, including advocacy, collaboration with policymakers, and involvement in professional organizations to influence housing policy reforms

  • Participants will explore methods for forming effective partnerships with local government officials, planning departments, and community organizations to ensure that housing policies support sustainable and inclusive urban development


Christian Solorio

Christian Solorio, a registered architect and servant leader, seamlessly integrates community engagement and advocacy into his career, prioritizing positive impacts in underserved neighborhoods. As the leader of the affordable housing studio at A|R|T, he pioneers innovative, affordable housing designs with a holistic focus on humanity, community, and the planet. With expertise spanning Permanent Supportive Housing to Homeownership projects, Christian stands out as a subject matter expert in affordable housing. Notably, he broke ground as the first architect in over 40 years to serve in the Arizona State legislature, advocating for the AEC community. In this role, Christian championed solutions to pressing issues, including the housing crisis, smart growth, economic development, and climate change. 

Sharayah "Shay" Jimenez

Sharayah Jimenez is a 5th generation Tucsonense. She graduated from the University of Arizona’s College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture in 2009. She has spent a decade working in the architecture industry and brings experience in affordable housing development, historic preservation, and community planning with a focus on desert dwelling. She is the Principal Designer and founder of CUADRO and established the firm in order to explore sustainable solutions for the rapidly growing housing market in the American Southwest which contains some of the world’s most unique and fragile ecosystems. Shay is an active member of the local Tucson community and contributes is a member of the Rio Nuevo Board.

Noerena Limon

Noerena Limon is the Founder & Principal at Mariposa Strategies, where she helps organizations think through strategies around homeownership, housing supply and wealth building. She is currently working with UnidosUS on their Homeownership Means Equity initiative.  Noerena is also a Fellow at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley, and was recently appointed by Governor Newsom to sit on the board of Cal HFA.  Most recently, Noerena served as Executive Vice President for Public Policy and Industry Relations at the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), where she founded the organization’s first policy department and its corresponding National Advocacy Committee--NAHREP’s grassroots network. Prior to joining NAHREP, Noerena worked at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, both in the Office of the Director and the Office of Mortgage Markets. Prior to that, she worked in the Office of Political Affairs at the White House, served as Deputy Communications Director for Spanish Language Media for the Obama-Biden 2008 Presidential Campaign, and as a Legislative Fellow for the Office of former U.S. Representative Xavier Becerra. Noerena received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Jordan Kravitz

As a healthcare project architect, medical planner, and researcher, Jordan believes in designing with dignity, compassion, and sustainable thinking. By creating with these
strong pillars of health and wellness in mind, she helps to bolster healthcare practices in
communities. With projects across the entire care continuum—from medical office buildings
to complex hospital projects—she can effortlessly execute the duties of both project architect
and medical planner, playing an essential role in integrating the programmatic and spatial
demands of a project with its technical requirements. Jordan’s diverse background allows her to think through complicated social justice issues with empathy and understanding. Jordan is known as a leader in her place of work and community through her activism with women’s reproductive health, justice, equity, diversity, inclusion (J.E.D.I.) initiatives, involvement with the American Institute of Architects (AIA).