Multi Residential

BSA, iLab Announce Housing Innovation Competition

Boston – The Housing Innovation Lab (iLab) and the Boston Society for Architecture (BSA) have released the “Co-Creating Boston’s Future-Decker” Request for Ideas (RFI), inviting residents, advocates, designers, and all who are interested to share ideas for multifamily housing in Boston’s neighborhoods.

Interested participants are asked to imagine replicable housing models that can be built on sites throughout the city ranging from 3,000-8,000sf. The RFI marks the first phase of this year’s Housing Innovation Competition and is a continuation of last year’s triple-decker community conversations, where residents and many others shared their stories and experiences with this familiar building type.

The “Co-Creating Boston’s Future-Decker” Competition aims to address a key housing challenge: How can innovative models for housing address systemic racism in our housing landscape? By drawing inspiration from the triple- or three-decker, a once deeply affordable housing model and replicable building type originally built on small sites, participants are asked to imagine new ways of addressing Boston’s current housing challenges.

Submissions are being accepted through July 30. Later this year, the iLab and the BSA will showcase the ideas and invite responses and feedback on the shared submissions. The RFI responses will inform the second phase of the competition, which will include a request for innovative proposals for a yet-to-be-selected city-owned lot.  A call for development teams will follow.

Information about this year’s Housing Innovation Competition can be found at

“This Future Decker RFI is truly an opportunity to test how we might co-create a shared, anti-racist vision for housing that centers the experiences and knowledge of many communities, including residents, designers, architects, and developers,” said Taylor Cain, director of housing, iLab. “We are looking forward to generating ideas that help lay a foundation for housing solutions that will meet the needs, both present and future, of Boston’s neighborhoods.”