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City announces advisory committee for housing innovation competition

December 15, 2016

New Urban Mechanics

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New Urban Mechanics

Advisory Committee, featuring community members, city officials, and renowned innovative architects and developers, to help decide compact living competition

BOSTON - Thursday, December 15, 2016 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the selection of an eight-member Advisory Committee for the recently released Housing Innovation Competition. Members of the Advisory Committee will be responsible for reviewing all applications and making a recommendation of the preferred developer's proposal to the city's Public Facilities Commission. 

The Housing Innovation Competition is intended to determine if innovatively designed compact units combined with reduced development costs will result in financially feasible developments with a mix of affordable price points.

The Housing Innovation Competition is part of Mayor Walsh's call for Boston to become a national and international leader in pioneering innovative housing models to serve the needs of Boston's current and future residents.

"We want Boston to be a place all residents can call home," said Mayor Walsh. "To do so, we must look beyond the options that currently exist and activate new and original ideas. The Housing Innovation Competition is a chance for Boston to continue its leadership in housing innovation."

The City's Department of Neighborhood Development (DND), in partnership with the Mayor's Housing Innovation Lab, the Garrison Trotter Neighborhood Association (GTNA), and the Boston Society of Architects (BSA)/AIA, are soliciting proposals for a City of Boston pilot initiative on five City-owned vacant land parcels in the Garrison Trotter neighborhood. The properties associated with the Housing Innovation Competition are 71 and 73 Holworthy Street, 29 and 31 Hollander Street, and 24 Westminster Avenue. The proposals will be solicited through a competitive, transparent Request for Proposal (RFP) process.

The resulting proposals will allow the City to test the effectiveness of this pilot initiative on multiple fronts: reducing costs to build; creating market driven, attractive and livable compact homes; and promoting a diverse resident income mix, including affordable workforce and market rate housing.

The Advisory Committee's role will be to review all applications and make a recommendation of the preferred developer's proposal to the Public Facilities Commission. The composition of the Advisory Committee is intended to ensure the interests of the community are prioritized as are innovative and unique proposals. The members of the Advisory Committee are included below.

  • Usama Kariba - Garrison Trotter Neighborhood Association, Housing Committee 
  • Tia Lawrence - Garrison Trotter Neighborhood Association, Housing Committee
  • Tamara Roy AIA - 2016 President of the Boston Society of Architects, Principal Stantec Architecture Boston
  • Richard Dattner FAIA - Principal Dattner Architects, President
  • Kirk Sykes - President, Urban Strategy America Fund, L.P.
  • Jay A. Lee AIA NOMA - Assistant Director Design Construction Openspace, City of Boston, Department of Neighborhood Development
  • David Carlson AIA - Deputy Director for Urban Design, Boston Planning & Development Agency, Executive Director, Boston Civic Design Commission Ex Officio, Boston Art Commission
  • Max Stearns - City of Boston, Housing Innovation Lab, Project Manager

The Mayor's Housing Innovation Lab (Housing i-Lab) was created in 2015 through a Bloomberg Philanthropies Innovation Team grant and is a collaboration between the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics and the Department of Neighborhood Development. The Housing i-Lab was created to serve the needs of Boston's current and future residents, by pioneering innovative housing models and systems, as well as accelerating the pace of innovation in the housing sector. To learn more visit their website, follow the iLAB on Twitter and sign up to share your ideas at their office hours.

Proposals for the Housing Innovation Competition are due Monday, December 19, 2016. The RFP is available here. More information can be found here.