The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced the University of Maryland, College Park as the winner of its 2018 Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition. A team of graduate students received top honors for their project, Beacon Crossing—a plan for public housing in Dover, N.H., that will provide 150 housing units for seniors and residents with disabilities.
“It is inspiring to see the next generation of young practitioners present new and innovative ideas for improving the quality of housing and addressing our nation’s affordability crisis,” said Dr. Calvin Johnson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research, Evaluation and Monitoring in HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research. “This year’s particular focus on providing supportive services for seniors and persons with disabilities responds directly to a key Departmental priority.”
HUD’s Innovation in Affordable Housing student competition is intended to encourage research and innovation in affordable housing, to raise practitioner and future practitioner capacity, and to foster cross-cutting team-work within the design and community development process. Multi-disciplinary graduate student teams were asked to create innovative solutions involving design, planning, and finance.
The students presented their final projects to a jury of practitioners and a live audience at HUD’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., on April 18. The jurors praised the College Park team members for their proposal’s design and financing methods, commended the students for paying close attention to detail, and for articulating a vision to implement innovative technologies without sacrificing affordability. The team also received compliments on their carefully thought out presentation.
The University of Maryland team was awarded $20,000, and the second runner-up, a team from the University of Colorado, Denver, received $10,000. Two other finalists from Pratt Institute in New York and the University of Texas at Austin each received an award of $5,000.
By initiating and funding this competition, HUD hopes to inspire and support aspiring members of fields such as architecture, planning, policy, and finance in advancing affordable and sustainable housing for low- and moderate-income Americans.