Laura Shipman
Community Housing Partnership
San Francisco


“The level of leadership and responsibility afforded young designers in the Rose Fellowship acknowledges the innovative and creative solutions that our generation can bring to the community development discussion. And the mentorship network from the host organization, community leaders, practitioners and peer fellows is invaluable to helping us see our work as a collaborative process to catalyze change.”

Laura had a unique fellowship working with two host organizations on projects ranging in scale and scope from the implementation of a single development to a large-scale redevelopment planning project.

Award-winning Community Housing Partnership (CHP) has a reputation for creating sustainable, healthy communities for people who were once homeless. With its emphasis on community building, tenant involvement and innovation, and focus on expansion, CHP had a lot to offer a Rose Fellow. With CHP Laura was co-project manager along with Mercy Housing California on the development of 120 units of permanent supportive housing designed for formerly homeless individuals. Her work focused on community outreach to local stakeholders, project financing and budgets, services coordination, design review, construction administration, and lease-up preparation.

She split her time with the Treasure Island Homeless Development Initiative (TIHDI), on a former naval base being redeveloped as a sustainable and inclusive community. Her work with TIHDI focused on the homeless assistance component of the Plan including housing and economic development, and advocacy for low-income residents in community facilities planning. She engaged in surveys and planning workshops in order to help ensure that the needs and preferences of the formerly homeless residents and stakeholders were taken into account throughout the planning process.  She also continues to represent TIHDI as a Mayoral Appointee to the Treasure Island/Yerba Buena Island Citizens Advisory Board.

Laura is currently an urban planner and designer at MIG, a group focused on planning, designing and sustaining environments that support human development.

A Board Member of Design Corps and the Association for Community Design, Laura came prepared with a Master of Architecture in Urban Design with distinction from Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University School of Architecture, Art and Planning. Her essay "Migrant Housing" appeared in Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism.


Treasure Island Redevelopment

New construction
577 acres gross project area
Affordable rental housing units
Community centers
Child-care facilities
Common residential amenity rooms
Common courtyards/terraces
Retail units
Surface parking units

Residential Unit Profile:
Affordable units serve extremely low, very low, and low income households. Market rate units have no income restriction.
   Studio 360-400 sq ft
   1 BR 540-600 sq ft
   2 BR 720-800 sq ft
   3 BR 900-1,000 sq ft
   4 BR 1,125-1,250 sq ft


Drs. Julian & Raye Richardson Apartments (Parcel G)

18,906 sq ft gross site area
New construction
5 stories
67,871 sq ft gross project area
Program Scope
120 affordable rental housing units
2 community rooms
2 community service facilities
3 common residential amenity rooms (750 sq ft)
3 common courtyards/terraces (5,250 sq ft)
Retail (3,500 sq ft)
2 offices
Green roof

Residential Unit Profile:
Drs. Julian & Raye Richardson Apartments, CHP's largest housing development, is located in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco on a site formerly occupied by the Central Freeway. The building opened its doors to residents September 2011 and will be home to 120 formerly homeless individuals. Richardson Apartments includes onsite social service space as well as commercial space for a social-venture business that will provide employment training and jobs to building tenants.

The project incorporates several sustainable design elements including a vegetated green roof, solar hot water system, sunshades to control solar heat gain, recycled building materials, EnergyStar appliances, low-flow fixtures, Low-VOC paints and sealants, and efficient irrigation systems for landscaping features. Through these various green and sustainable techniques the building is estimated to be at least 18% above the State of California’s Title 24 building requirements, already some of the most efficient in the nation. The building will be Green Point Rated and certifiable for a Gold level under the LEED - H Mid-rise Program.

CHP is partnering with Mercy Housing California through project development, and when complete, CHP will be the owner and operator of the building. 


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