The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a graduate student team from University of Maryland as the winners of HUD’s sixth annual Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition. The University of Maryland team was one of four finalists to design a new mixed-use development for low- and moderate-income residents situated along the San Antonio Riverwalk. HUD also announced a team from the University of California Berkley as runner-up.
“When it comes to creating innovative affordable housing, HUD does not do this work alone,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “Congratulations to the University of Maryland and all of our finalists, for their consciousness stream of good ideas that increases housing opportunity for Americans with modest incomes.”
HUD’s Innovation in Affordable Housing competition strives to spur research, collaboration, and creativity in affordable housing and community development. This year’s challenge required competitors to design living and retail spaces that reinforce essential services, ensuring that residents connected to the surrounding community and near employment opportunities.
The students presented their final projects to a jury of practitioners and a live audience at HUD’s headquarters in Washington, DC. The University of Maryland team will receive a $20,000 award and the team from the University of California at Berkeley will receive a $10,000 award.
The competition jurors praised the winning team for their financial package as well as their real understanding of the concepts being proposed. The team was also commended for proposing the highest density, which makes the math more logical and, of course, provides more housing opportunity to more people.
The University of California, Berkeley team was judged runner-up for its financing also, as well as elements of the site design. The other finalists comprised students from Yale University and Virginia Tech.
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.