The City of Los Angeles has launched a $100,000 housing design challenge for low-rise developments. The competition asks architects and landscape architects to imagine "appealing and sustainable" models of low-rise, multi-unit housing. Organized by the Mayor’s Office and Chief Design Officer Christopher Hawthorne, the initiative aims to create new paths to home-ownership and housing affordability in Los Angeles.
The competition was launched as part of a larger research initiative overseen by the Mayor’s Office of Budget and Innovation in collaboration with Urban Institute and other partners. "Los Angeles essentially defined its own version of the American dream — sun-dappled, forward-looking, often including a private garden or swimming pool. That dream needs an update." The Low-Rise challenge aims to confront historical patterns of racial and environmental injustice in housing policy in Southern California and develop healthy models of post-COVID living.
The Low Rise: Housing for Los Angeles challenge was launched in November 2020, with proposals due in February 2021. There is no fee to enter. The competition was made possible by support from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the James Irvine Foundation, and Citi.