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American Institute of Architects - Housing and Community Design Awards

The Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in conjunction with the Residential Knowledge Community of The American Institute of Architects (AIA), recognizes excellence in affordable housing, community-based design, participatory design, and accessibility. These awards demonstrate that design matters and provide examples of important benchmarks in the housing industry. Awards are offered in four categories: Community–Informed Design Award, Creating Community Connection Award, Excellence in Affordable Housing Design Award, and Housing Accessibility— Alan J. Rothman Award.

American Institute of Architects - Housing and Community Design Awards


Community-Informed Design Award
The Community-Informed Design Award recognizes design that supports physical communities as they rebuild social structures and relationships that may have been weakened by out-migration, disinvestment, and the isolation of inner-city areas.

Homeless Assistance Center of Dallas, Texas.

Known as "The Bridge" meets the growing concerns of homelessness in Dallas. A safe haven and focus for services for more than 6,000 homeless, it empowers chronic and newly homeless to come off the streets and sustain permanent housing in order to live productively. Since opening in May, the Bridge has been more successful than anticipated. Widely accepted by the homeless, a facility designed for 400 now handles up to 1000 people a day, and more than 500 individuals have received training, counseling, secured employment or permanent housing. Results are tangible and the surrounding neighborhood is revitalizing; crime has reduced by eighteen percent. The Bridge proves that shelters should not be isolated, but an integrated part of our community.

Creating Community Connection Award
This award recognizes projects that incorporate housing within other community amenities for the purpose of either revitalization or planned growth.

Project Place – Gatehouse of Boston, Massachusetts,

is a new 6-story mixed-use building developed by a non-profit agency that helps men and women experiencing homelessness reestablish themselves in society by offering job training, work experience, education, housing, and support services. The building contains 14 units of affordable SRO apartments on the top two floors, a multi-function space for community use, and a ground floor commercial restaurant space, which subsidizes the rent for the building’s SRO units and is a job generator for the neighborhood. This sustainable building, currently pending LEED certification, includes two geothermal wells which provide this on-profit agency with an energy efficient means of heating and cooling the building, thus allowing the agency to help the environment, reduce their operating budget, and preserve more funds for their ongoing programming efforts.

Excellence in Affordable Housing Design
This award recognizes architecture that demonstrates overall excellence in terms of design in response to both the needs and constraints of affordable housing.

Bridgeton Neighborhood Revitalization of Bridgeton, New Jersey, located in a small town in southern New Jersey, is not the stereotypical HOPE VI grant recipient. The grant typically awards large cities, addressing huge swaths of distressed public housing through urban revitalization projects. This project represents the maturation of the HOPE VI program, addressing urban neighborhoods more sensitively in a broader variety of city contexts. The revitalization plan evolved from the careful identification of where – and where not – to build. Parcels scatters in the northern quarter of the city were selected, all of them nearly vacant blocks, almost entirely paved over from former industrial uses. These parcels were physical barriers to predestrian and social connectivity, and presented havens for illicit activity. Conversely, the former public housing site was revitalized by removing the existing buildings and restoring the site as a park, reconnecting the neighborhood to the Cohansey River parks and knitting the two sides of the city back together.

Irvington Terrace of Fremont, California.

This 100-unit low-income housing development in Irvine strikes a fine balance between progressive modernist forms and a traditional village-square-like community. It forms a block-long perimeter of flat-roofed rental apartments, articulated with interlocking rectilinear volumes that define individual units. These fused and richly textured units avoid the monumental austerity of past failed experiments in modernist affordable housing by providing street wall relief and variety, complete with street-enlivening stoops and porches. The rows of housing surround two town-square courtyards with adjacent public amenities. The project successfully balances the design aspirations with the risk of cultural dislocation of the residents. As a result, all stakeholders, including both client and residents, can relate to the project design.

For Housing Accessibility: Alan J. Rothman Award
The purpose of this award is to recognize exemplary projects that demonstrate excellence in improving housing accessibility for people with disabilities.
This category did not have a winner this year.



OMB Control Number: 2528-0324
Expiration Date: 01/31/2026