Project History

The homeless population in Los Angeles County has been increasing at an alarming rate over the last five years. According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, steadily rising housing costs and stagnant incomes are the underlying cause, with the highest economic stress falling on renters.

In 2016, in response to this humanitarian crisis, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors launched the Homeless Initiative, a comprehensive plan that includes strategies to increase affordable housing through the development of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s.) Towards that goal, LA County is updating its ADU ordinance to address new opportunities for secondary units in single family lots for family use or rental.


As partners in the Homeless Initiative’s Second Dwelling Units Pilot Program, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission Civic Art Program, in collaboration with the Department of Regional Planning, the Community Development Corporation, and Chief Executive Office, is helping to promote the development of ADU’s.

Part of the Solution: Yes to ADU Design Competition

Civic Art invited its creative community to participate in this design competition to reimagine freestanding ADU’s in Los Angeles County. Part of the Solution: YES to ADU encouraged architects and designers to serve as creative strategists in service to the Homeless Initiative, promoting affordable housing with inspiring, tangible examples of freestanding ADU’s that the public can visualize in their yards and neighborhoods.

Jury for the competition included:

  • Dana Cuff, Director, cityLAB, UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design
  • Milton Curry, Dean, USC School of Architecture
  • Renee Dake Wilson, Principal, Dake Wilson Architects; VP LA City Planning
  • Hsinming Fung, Principal, Hodgetts + Fung; Director of International Programs SCI-Arc
  • Bettina Korek, Founder, ForYourArt & LA County Arts Commissioner
  • Christoph Korner, Cofounder GRAFT; Chair Interior Architecture, Woodbury University
  • Brenda Levin, Principal, Levin & Associates Architects
  • Jon Sanabria, Deputy Director, Department of Regional Planning
  • Geoffrey Siebens, Assistant Director, Community Development Commission

Can I Participate?

Applications for the Part of the Solution:Yes to ADU design competition are now closed.

The LA County Arts Commission would like to thank our community partner, Buster for supporting the ADU project.