Apr 15, 2020

Request for Proposals: ADU Idea Book for Mid-Century Neighborhoods

About Family Housing Fund

The Family Housing Fund (FHFund) believes that building a better Minnesota starts from the ground up—it starts with a place to call home. We catalyze change by working together with multiple partners and stakeholders to improve access, affordability, and resiliency across the entire housing sector. By working together, we can preserve and produce more homes more cost-effectively; expand access to decent and affordable homes; and inspire communities to take action toward building housing solutions that support all families. Established in 1980, we are a nonprofit intermediary supporting the Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the Metropolitan Council, and Minnesota Housing in their efforts to meet the seven-county metropolitan region’s affordable housing needs. We are unique in focusing on all facets of the housing system and working across sectors to ensure real change.

About ADUs

FHFund is working to increase the development of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) throughout the Twin Cities.

ADUs, as a type of small-scale housing development typically built by homeowners in existing neighborhoods, are one important tool for addressing our region’s need for more affordable housing options.

Cities such as Richfield, Roseville, and Crystal have all recently adopted ADU policies but have not yet seen many ADUs constructed. Many homeowners who express interest in ADUs find it daunting to envision a design that meets their needs and also meets the complexities of the zoning and building codes. There are few available examples of ADUs in mid-century neighborhoods in Twin Cities communities outside of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.


FHFund seeks proposals from design firms to create content for an Idea Book to promote cost-effective/aesthetically appropriate design options for different types of ADUs (attached, detached, or interior renovation) with a focus on typical homes and lot sizes found in mid-century communities in the Twin Cities region.

The Idea Book should present 3-5 specific project concepts as case studies, including at least one of each of the following types of ADU projects:

  • Detached ADU
  • Addition to create attached ADU
  • Renovation to create interior (basement/attic/etc.) ADU

Each idea or case study presented would be specific to a site in a mid-century neighborhood that is representative of housing stock types in the Twin Cities region; the sites will be selected by FHFund and its partners in consultation with the selected design firm. Homeowners at each of the sites may or may not actually be interested in pursuing an ADU project, but each site should present the opportunity to model a design solution that could be relevant for similarly situated properties. Each case study should present a design solution that meets current zoning and code constraints for the site; FHFund will work with the selected design firm to review the proposed concepts with local planning officials.

For each case study, the design firm should create:

  • Section and axonometric drawings
  • Floor plan
  • Depiction of relationship to the existing home on the site and its surrounding neighborhood context, including landscape features
  • Estimated cost of construction

At least one case study presented, but not necessarily all, should be selected for development of a rendered perspective drawing.

The FHFund will engage a graphic designer to work with the selected design firm to lay out the Idea Book content for publication so that it is consistent with the FHFund’s established brand identity. The Idea Book will primarily be distributed on a web site.

To Submit

Submissions should include:

  • A description of the firm’s relevant skills, qualifications, and experience
  • Examples of any relevant work products
  • Estimates of cost and timeline for completing this project

Qualified proposals will be reviewed for the firm’s skills, experience, and interest in:

  • Infill development and renovation projects
  • Mid-century design
  • Drawing to scale
  • Residential construction
  • Cost estimating
  • Other relevant specialties (e.g., landscape architecture and stormwater management)
  • Affordable housing

If the submission is not from a licensed architect, please describe how a licensed professional will be engaged in the project. 

Proposals should be submitted via email to Sarah Berke, Program Officer (sarah@fhfund.org; 612.274.7690). Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis as they are received; please submit no later than May 8, 2020.

Download this RFP as a pdf.

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