Community Development Corporation
Living Paradigm is a not-‐for-‐profit group with a mission to empower people to participate in the American Dream of home ownership and healthy lifestyles through the creation of homes that are environmentally responsible, locally sourced and built, and contribute to the culture, spirit, and individuality of the community.
We advocate, partner, and collaborate with residents, local community leaders, industry professionals, and universities to support and promote resident-based, place-making, regenerative design, and environmental justice. Our work promotes equitable access to sustainable lifestyles and designs for communities that have sustained impacts from environmental injustices and natural disasters. We work with low- to moderate income residents in Harris County, Texas.
We track our impact diverting waste from Houston landfills through the City of Houston Reuse Warehouse, a source of building materials for community projects. As advocates of sustainability in Houston, the work of our founding Board Member, Amanda Tullos, AIA, LFA, CPHC, LEED AP BD+C ID+C, contributed to establish the Reuse Warehouse in 2009.
We network with volunteer design professionals to act locally and collaborate through global resources. Open Architecture Houston utilizes design to connect people and revitalize Houston communities. Collaborative initiatives include Parking Day 2015-2016 a Global community place-making event that features parklets of public art and built seating donated for ongoing use in local civic spaces.
We research code and policy issues that steward the environment and healthy lifestyles for communities. Our tiny house code research and micro home pocket neighborhoods plan for Houston were presented to and by the City of Houston in 2016.
We support local volunteer committees. Independence Heights Collaborative Action Coalition (IHCAC) is a coalition of community members and organizers serving the historic neighborhood of Independence Heights, Houston Texas. The committee was established in 2012 to address; housing and community development, health and safety, economic development, and civic engagement. The Independence Heights Studewood Community Vision Project was initiated in 2015 by resident leaders and emerging design professionals.
We design and rebuild resilient homes. In 2016, twenty FEMA Pilot homes were designed by our Director and built through the Houston-Galveston Area Council for Rapid Housing Recovery program. Our volunteers surveyed the homes after Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and although neighborhoods were flooded, these homes were not. Residents reported feeling safe and secure while sheltering in place during the storm and nearby factory explosions. The homes are ADA compliant and include Energy Star and WaterSense features.
Pastor T. Leon Preston II
The Reverend T. Leon Preston II, is the proud pastor of The Yale Street Baptist Church in Independence Heights, Houston, Texas. He has preached and lectured all over the United States and has supported various ministries abroad. Preston is a man of community. He is an activist for the rights of all citizens. He has participated in voter registrations drives, Citizens Emergency Response efforts, and law enforcement efforts.
April Ward, MArch, LEED GCP, AIA Associate, PhD Candidate
April Ward is a Professor of Architecture, at Prairie View A&M University (HBCU), currently pursuing her architecture license in Texas. She facilitates regionally resilient, single-family design through stakeholder engagement and service learning initiatives that empower social capital and community place-making. She received a Master in Architecture from Arizona State University and is pursuing a PhD in Urban Planning and Environmental Policy with an environmental justice focus at Texas Southern University. April was a founding board member of the Architecture for Humanity Houston chapter and she served on the 2017 Advisory Group for the US Green Building Council's (USGBC) Communities and Affordable Homes Summit. LINK
Amanda Tullos,AIA, LFA, CHHC, LEED AP
Director of Development + Community Partnerships
Katherine Sargent Cairoli, MA, LEED SITES AP
Kate has a decade of experience in public health and ecological design. Her focus has been on disparities and inequalities at the intersection of human and environmental health. She has worked with non-profits and foundations that focus on health, sustainable agriculture, education, regenerative design, and environmental issues. She holds a Bachelor's degree from Yale University and a Master's degree in Ecological Design from the Conway School. She grew up on a farm in Southwestern Pennsylvania and currently resides in Houston, Texas, where she serves on the boards of several non-profits, writes, and tends to her urban garden.
Recovery Case Manager + Community Liaison
Precious Carr, BS Leadership & Development
Precious Kelly is currently an executive assistant to the senior leadership board at Yale Street Baptist Church. She is a proud former student of Texas A&M University holding a bachelor of science degree in Leadership & Development. Over the last 10 years, she has worked with various non profit organizations helping the homeless, less fortunate, disabled and church community. She is avid about helping others in need. She is a wife and mother of 3 and is excited about contributing to the success of Living Paradigm CDC as the Recovery Case Manager + Community Liaison.
Clint McManus, MA Regional Planning
Clint McManus is a Regional Planner in the Sustainable Development Program at the Houston-Galveston Area Council. In that role, he manages the Livable Centers Studies and runs the quarterly Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable. He also serves on the Coordinating Group of the Houston chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice. Clint has a background in community outreach and data analytics/ visualization and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Latin American Studies from St. Edward's University and a Master's of Regional Planning degree from Cornell University.
Clifford Robinson, BArch Prairie View A&M University
2017 -2018 Living Paradigm CDC Design Fellow
Sarah Kataka, MArch Prairie View A&M University
2017 -2018 Living Paradigm CDC Design Fellow
Pastor T. Leon Preston II, Board President
April Ward, Executive Director
Staff & Volunteers
We partner community residents and leaders with Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), School of Architecture professors and students to facilitate service learning design curriculum that fosters social agency and sustainability in the built environment. These community-based studio projects bring students together with local partnerships, residents and community leaders in historic Independence Heights Studewood, Houston Texas and have received numerous national and local awards.