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Smith was born in Lima, Peru. She graduated in Architecture and Engineering Science from UNIFE in 1986. She moved to the US is 1991 and lived in LA where her father-in-law was an architect with UCLA. She was inspired to work on low-income housing, volunteering then working for Stalk+Stalk. She worked for MCA Development, the firm designing for Universal Studios Park. She moved to Raleigh in 2005, working for JDavis architects on mixed-use projects. She went on her own as Habitat Improvement LLC in 2010 designing and developing single-family homes.

CAMDEN - Habitat Improvement



2013 - The Tyler Helikson House, 121 Camden Street, Raleigh NC. Built by Five Horizons Construction.

2017 - 1924 French Street, Raleigh NC. Unbuilt.

2017 - The Lisa Monette House, 2603 Hazelwood Drive, Raleigh NC. Built on the site of an old ranch, bottom photo.

2017 - The Justin Kreft House, 813 Glascock Street, Raleigh NC.

2017 - The Michael and Stacia Wilson House, 607 East Edenton Street, Raleigh NC. Built by Five Horizons Build.


2017 - The James Williams and Ronald Downey House, 1206 East Martin, Raleigh NC.  Developed by Neal Motoparthy.  Sold in 2019 to Seth and Leilani Ray.

2018 - 1103 Blount Street, Raleigh NC.


2018 - 1105 Blount Street, Raleigh NC.


2019 - The Ryan and Katherine Long House, 918 Oakwood Avenue, Raleigh NC.


2019 - The Dean and Susan Rains House, 211 Pettigrew, Raleigh NC.


2021 - 1107 Blount, Raleigh NC.


2021 - 101 Bart Street, Raleigh. Designed with Ryan Edwards.

2021 - 6 at South Park, Garner Road at Bragg Street, Raleigh NC. Six units, all but one designed with Ryan Edwards.
Built by Concept Eight.

Sources include: Yolanda Smith, Neal Motoparthy.