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Engaging communities + Provoking change

Housing Innovation Competition

Since 2016, the BSA Foundation has partnered with the City of Boston’s Housing Innovation Lab (iLab) to move the needle on affordable housing in the city of Boston. This partnership has taken many forms: a community workshop that informed a Housing Innovation Competition for city-owned parcels in the Garrison Trotter neighborhood of Roxbury; the Urban Housing Unit (UHU) roadshow; and a hands-on workshop at BSA Space leading to revised guidelines for the Additional Dwelling Unit pilot program.

The Housing Innovation Competition in Garrison Trotter was specifically designed to encourage creative solutions for compact unit sizes. On many of these lots, only two or three units would be built. Instead, the iLab encouraged designer/developer teams to see how many units they could fit onto the site while being mindful of neighborhood context, shared infrastructure, and community amenities. Six teams submitted proposals for the sites, and Dream Development was ultimately deemed the winner of the competition. Their proposal for 24 Westminster Ave in Roxbury will get to be realized. Read more about the first Housing Innovation Competition.

The BSA Foundation partners with the Housing iLab to bring conversations about design excellence and equity in the built environment to all residents of Boston. Working together, the two organizations piloted a transparent, inclusive process by which local community members had the ultimate say in the competition guidelines and in the winning proposal. Read more about the specific insights the iLab has had throughout the competition process.

Images courtesy of Housing Innovatoin Lab .

To learn more about how the BSA Foundation is making an impact in communities, please come to BSA Space for a one hour “tour” of BSA Foundation programs. On the tour, board members and volunteers will tell stories about how Foundation programs, and the power of design, are positively changing the lives of real people. Meet the BSA Foundation meetings are held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month. Events are free, but seats are limited. Check for upcoming dates and to reserve your seat.