May 8, 2024

HUD: Harvard University Wins HUD’s 2024 Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition

Student teams shine in affordable housing solutions: UC Berkeley and University of Maryland also recognized in HUD’s design and planning competition.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a graduate student team with members from Harvard University as the winners of HUD’s eleventh annual Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition. For the 2024 competition, HUD partnered with Madison Community Development Authority in Madison, Wisconsin. The Harvard University team was one of four finalist teams challenged with creating an innovative and sustainable mixed-income community that includes affordable and workforce housing.

The student teams were tasked with including both multifamily rental units and affordable homeownership opportunities, as well as connecting the site to the surrounding Bay Creek neighborhood. On April 18th, the four finalist student teams presented their projects to a jury of practitioners in-person at HUD Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The Harvard University team will receive a $20,000 award, and the runner-up team from the University California, Berkeley will receive a $10,000 award. The two remaining finalist teams— from the University of Maryland and the University California, Berkeley—will each receive $5,000.

“Creativity wins the day, and I am so proud of this next generation of students for thinking outside of the box,” said HUD Acting Secretary Adrianne Todman. “This competition not only puts our future housing professionals on display as they channel their ingenuity to build affordable, resilient workforce housing for families in Wisconsin, it also serves as a model of what HUD, through this kind of partnership, can do to house millions of families across the nation.”

Ahead of the team presentations, Mr. Matt Wachter, Executive Director of the Madison Community Development Authority said, “we are proud to partner with HUD PD&R for the 2024 Innovation in Affordable Housing competition because we recognize the need for affordable housing, not just in Madison, but across the country.”

At the event, HUD Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research, Solomon Greene, thanked Madison Community Development Authority “for partnering with HUD on this year’s competition and for creating this visionary challenge for the student teams with real-world application to an important and valued community in Madison.”

The Madison Community Development Authority asked the student teams to focus on a public housing building located on a 7-acre site owned by the Madison CDA. They challenged the teams to provide improved resident amenities, sustainable and climate-friendly design features, while ensuring the existing residents can stay onsite and move just once, into their new unit. The competition jurors praised the winning Harvard University team for including trauma-informed design, well thought out unit layouts, sustainability features, orientation of buildings, which improves integration with the surrounding neighborhood.

Each year, HUD’s Innovation in Affordable Housing competition invites graduate students enrolled in accredited educational institutions in the United States to form multi-disciplinary teams to respond to an existing affordable housing design and planning issue. 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.

This post was originally published here.