Design is a key element of successful affordable housing development. Our Design Leadership initiative provides tools, programs and research to support developers in mastering their design process, allowing them to drive positive resident and community outcomes, solve increasingly complex development challenges and control costs.
Our programs and tools to support developers include the Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute (AHDLI), The Rose Fellowship, the Design Matters framework and toolkit, Policy Research and wide-ranging project case studies.
Design Leadership in the News
Visit Design Matters and get the tools to learn the practices for achieving good design on any affordable housing development, regardless of context or budget.
Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute
For the past nine years, the Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute (AHDLI) has brought together development and design leaders to share best practices and to take on affordable housing’s increasingly complex construction, policy and finance challenges. As a result, developers have amplified their projects to improve the lives of the residents and communities they serve.
- AHDLI connects innovators: Participants make lasting connections with fellow developers and designers from across the country.
- AHDLI sparks new methods: Throughout the forum, peers learn from one another’s break-through approaches to wide-ranging challenges.
- AHDLI is solutions-oriented: Charrettes focus on real participant projects and the challenges that they have identified.
- AHDLI promotes collaboration: Developers and designers have a unique opportunity to collaborate outside the client-consultant dynamic.
AHDLI is a short-burst intensive learning experience, culminating in a 3-day in-person convening that builds organizations’ skills and confidence in managing the design process. The Institute curriculum – both in-person and online – is based on both research and real-life projects and is outcome-oriented. At the completion of the Institute, developers reflect on what they learned and map strategies to make large and small changes in their development process.
The Institute curriculum consists of:
- 3-day in-person convening of developers, designers, city officials and policy makers. Here participants engage in interactive design charrettes with real-life development projects and learn creative and innovative approaches to design, construction, policy and finance challenges.
- 5 online modules provide a foundation for integrating design principles into the challenging affordable housing development process and feature real-life case studies
Webinar: Design Leadership Institute - FAQ with Program Alumni
Get your questions answered!
February 19, 2019 – 2:00 p.m. EST
The 2019 Institute will be in Cleveland, OH - July 16 - 18
Application Deadline - March 27, 2019
The Ninth Annual Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute (AHDLI) took place in Seattle on July 17-19th, 2018. Learn more.
Design & Policy Agenda
In addition to directly supporting affordable housing developers to enhance their design skills and processes, the Enterprise Design Team, in partnership with our policy team, researches and advocates for local and national policy solutions that support design innovation and excellence. As part of this agenda, in 2017 Enterprise partnered with the Harvard Joint Center on Housing on a paper called, Creating Well-Designed Affordable Housing: Opportunities and Obstacles. Read more about the results of that research.