WASHINGTON – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a graduate student team from the University of Texas at Austin the winners of HUD’s third annual Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition. The Austin team was one of the four team finalists to develop a plan to redevelop the public housing project Monteria Village in Santa Barbara, California. HUD also announced a team from University of Maryland as the runner up.
“It’s amazing to watch our next generation create a plan for the future of affordable housing in a way that helps low-income families become self-sufficient,” said Katherine O’Regan, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research. “As we celebrate the third year of this competition, our hope is to continue this creative and forward thinking when it comes to affordable housing.”
HUD’s Innovation in Affordable Housing 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 University of Texas at Austin team will receive a $20,000 award and the team from the University of Maryland will receive $10,000. The competition jurors praised the Austin team members for their sophisticated site plan that connects homes and social space. The team also received very high marks for their water conservation plans and their plans to include an education center which will provide school and job training to address the needs of the community.
The University of Maryland was judged runner-up in this year’s competition. The ‘Terrapin Team’s” design for a new construction development for affordable housing includes a four-story multifamily development that houses a food co-op, a community center, and easy access to a community garden nearby.
HUD and the Santa Barbara Housing Authority challenged multi-disciplinary teams of graduate students to consider the complex challenges associated with rehabbing the current structure or demolishing it and creating new construction. These student participants had to consider design, community development, and financing elements in order to provide an all-encompassing plan and solution that would allow the housing authority to meet its goal of offering safe and sustainable affordable housing. Students also needed to understand the needs of the intended residents, the zoning restrictions, and leveraging opportunities.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet
at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov.