Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute Honored with 2018 AIA Collaborative Achievement Award

COLUMBIA, Md. (January 26, 2018) – Today, Enterprise Community Partners’ (Enterprise) Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute (AHDLI) was awarded the 2018 Collaborative Achievement Award by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). This is the second year in a row Enterprise has been honored with the award, with the Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship winning last year. 

Founded in 2010 on the belief that design excellence in affordable housing can transform the built environment to improve health and well-being and increase opportunity for residents, AHDLI has achieved dramatic results in towns and cities across the country. Attending AHDLI can significantly impact the design decisions made by participants. For example, after team members of the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) of Seattle attended, they significantly revised the design of the building they were creating for homeless youth. The result improved the lives of those young people and LIHI went on to win the 2017 Gold Nugget Design Award for “Best Affordable Housing.”

AHDLI brings together leading designers and developers of affordable homes for a two-and-a-half-day convening focused on innovation and best practices in community and sustainable design. Modeled after the Mayor’s Institute on City Design, AHDLI has served over 70 non-profit and community groups and municipalities. By allowing affordable housing developers to take a step back and reconsider what their buildings might achieve, developers learn to make well-designed homes affordable and create vibrant, more resilient communities. 

AHDLI was born out of a collaborative effort among Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA, principal of Brooks + Scarpa; Maurice Cox, former Mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia (now Planning Director for the City of Detroit); and Katie Swenson, vice president of National Design Initiatives at Enterprise Community. Together, they aimed to accelerate the adoption of design excellence by affordable housing industry leaders. 

“As we approach nearly a decade of leading AHDLI, we are honored that the AIA has recognized our efforts with the Collaborative Achievement Award,” said Swenson. “Our goal is to continually raise the bar for the design and development of homes that are not only affordable but also inspiring, livable, and sustainable, providing a rung in the ladder of opportunity for low-income families.” 

The AIA Collaborative Achievement Award recognizes and encourages distinguished achievements of allied professionals, clients, organizations, architect teams, knowledge communities, and others who have had a beneficial influence on or advanced the architectural profession. Enterprise and its fellow honoree Klyde Warren Park will be honored at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2018 in New York City.