Design Leadership

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 tools and case studies.

Stay up to date on our programs and the leading-edge in affordable housing design.
Join our Newsletter

Design Matters

Visit Design Matters to get the tools and practices to achieving good design on any affordable housing development, regardless of context or budget.

Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute

2020 Institute

Due to the current Covid-19 crisis and forecasts for large scale events, the 2020 Institute will be rescheduled to 2021, still to take place in Denver. 

Thank you for patience and partnership as we made this tough programming decision.  We hope that you will still apply to join us next year!  You can subscribe to our newsletter for announcements about the 2021 application release and program dates. 

How to Continue Your Design Professional Development in 2020

  • We will be creating a suite of new online learning opportunities throughout 2020 to help developers continue to build strong design skills. Stay tuned!  We hope that you’ll join us.
  • You can begin learning now by visiting the Enterprise Design Matters online resource center, where the three core tools taught through the Institute are available for download, as well as all of our best design related resources
  • We will be hosting several focus groups and developer interviews as we plan for the next generation of design learning tools and the build out of the Design Matters site, if you are interested, please contact: 

Institute Background

For the past ten 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.

Why attend?

  • 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.

Institute Curriculum

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

Download the Fact Sheet
Read about Past Participants’ Outcomes

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.

In addition, our Design and Policy teams are collaborating on the series: New Reflections on Affordable Housing Design, Policy and Construction, which was launched with the first paper: “Overcoming Barriers to Bringing Off-Site Construction to Scale.” 

Opp360 logo

For full access to our tools and resources, please provide the information below.

We use this data to better understand our users; we do not sell or share this data. By providing this information, you can expect to receive newsletters and other updates from Opportunity360.