Complete the Community

A Housing & Urban Design Competition

This competition is hosted by the City of Houston in partnership with AIA Houston

Houston, TX

Complete the Community: A Housing & Urban Design Competition

This competition is organized by the Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Houston) and the City of Houston with Council Member David W. Robinson.

This competition seeks to elevate design in Houston’s affordable housing landscape by soliciting conceptual design entries for resilient single-family houses and one streetscape in the five pilot neighborhoods designated by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner as “Complete Communities.” The Complete Communities initiative aims to revitalize Houston’s under-resourced communities, including enhanced access to quality affordable homes and improved public infrastructure. The five communities for this competition are: Acres Homes, Near Northside, Second Ward, Third Ward, and Gulfton.

One area within each Complete Community has been selected for the competition and confirmed by the City of Houston’s Housing Director, Tom McCasland, in coordination with the AIA Houston 2020 Visions Steering Committee. These areas reflect the local character and neighborhood texture for which the competition entries should be designed. There are two parts of this competition: a design of a single family home, and an urban design solution. Teams may submit entries for one or both portions of the competition. For the housing portion, each design team shall choose one specific area to design for, yet the design should be flexible enough to be adapted for multiple communities. The new home(s) developed as a result of this competition may be used to assist families replacing homes impacted by Hurricane Harvey. In Gulfton, the selected area is a streetscape and intersection where the design will be focused on a solution of “tactical urbanism.”

June 1              Competition Announcement
June 8              Competition Open & Website Live
June 25 – 29    Public meetings & deadline for questions
July 13             Answers to all questions posted online
August 3          Submission Deadline
August 17        Competition Jury
August 25        Competition Winners Announced

An open house forum will be held in each of the five Complete Community subject areas, during which applicants can visit the specific sites, meet neighborhood leaders, and learn more about the Complete Communities initiative and the goals of the competition. City of Houston staff will be available, including the Housing and Community Development Department and the Planning and Development Department, and representatives from district council members’ offices and the Complete Communities Neighborhood Support Team (NST) will be invited to attend. Applicants should review the Complete Communities plans and incorporate into their design submission relevant feedback and/or design criteria from the community.

Meetings will be held the week of June 25 – 29.

Click here to read the Housing Design Competition program and submission requirements.
Click here to read the Urban Design Competition program and submission requirements. 

Click here for a complete listing of the Competition Rules.

Answers to FAQs and and all questions submitted by competitors will be posted on the AIA Houston website. Deadline to submit questions is June 29th. Questions may be submitted by email to Answers to all questions will be posted by July 13th. Click here to see all Questions & Answers posted to date.