November 19, 2014

Form a Team. Create a Plan. Make a Real-World Impact

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Photo: 2015 Innovation in Affordable Housing logo.

Introducing the 2015 HUD Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition

We are excited to announce the second year of the HUD Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition (IAH). The competition officially launched November 12 and registration is now open! Complete information is available on the competition’s website.

HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research has teamed up with a public housing authority to identify a real-world affordable housing design and planning issue for the competition. Multidisciplinary graduate student teams will submit proposals and a jury of five experts in the field will choose four finalist teams to participate in a visit to the public housing authority’s site. The students will then have several weeks to develop and refine their proposals before the final presentation April 21 at HUD Headquarters in Washington, DC. Following the jury’s decision, the first place team will receive $20,000 and the runner up will receive $10,000. We are pleased to offer this extra incentive for busy graduate students to participate!

Last year’s competition, focused on housing homeless veterans, was a resounding success.  All of the finalists presented innovative ideas, and former HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced Ohio State University as the winning team and a joint New York University and Columbia University team as the runner-up.

We will build off this excitement and momentum as we turn to the issue of affordable senior housing for the second year of competition. This issue is especially relevant as the baby boomer generation ages and the U.S. population aged 65 and over doubles to 80 million by 2040[i].

We look forward to the great ideas participating graduate students will bring forward and hope the competition will raise the discourse about affordable housing among students. Our multi-disciplinary team requirement ensures that not only planners—but those with architecture, finance, real-estate, business, and other concentrations—will be thinking about affordable housing. This cross-collaboration simulates the real world workplace and enforces the fact that affordable housing development requires dedicated and creative practitioners from a variety of fields. In short, affordable housing is everyone’s business.

This is sure to be an informative, educational, and fun competition. Join us and follow along with competition updates posted to the website and Twitter #IAH2015.

Claire Desjardins is a Policy Analyst in the Research Utilization Division of HUD’s Office of Policy and Development Research.

[i] Adele M. Hayutin, Miranda Dietz, and Lillian Mitchell. 2010. New Realities of an Older America, Stanford Center on Longevity, 4-5.

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