Congratulations to our UMD team on winning HUD 2019 Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition for the second year in a row!
The students were Kyle Huck, Cassandra Huntington, Nyasha Mandima, Andrew Mazer and Lauren Stamm, and they were advised by faculty Maria Day-Marshall and Bonstra/Haresign’s Rob McClennan. They were competing against Yale School of Architecture, University of California-Berkeley and Virginia Tech.
For the second straight year, a team from the University of Maryland won the Housing and Urban Development’s Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition.
Teams from over 70 of the most prestigious graduate schools around the country entered the competition. The sixth annual competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, challenged student teams to build a development on a new 2.58-acre site adjacent to the famous River Walk near downtown San Antonio. In February, the UMD team was chosen as one of the four finalists, along with University of California-Berkeley, Yale University and Virginia Tech.
"It was exciting to see our Maryland team compete against the very best teams in the U.S.,” said School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation Interim Dean Don Linebaugh. “The students' innovative submission demonstrates the strengths of our interdisciplinary approach to the built environment. Drawing on their strengths in design, planning and real estate finance, they crafted a project that put people and community first, activating the site and delivering a safe, affordable and beautiful housing solution."
The UMD team put forth a plan with sustainable and diverse building types designed to attract residents of varying income levels. The plan even included for-sale condos and townhomes. “We wanted to provide some opportunities for families to not only be able to rent at a lower price and have access to different services,” said team member Cassandra (Casey) Huntington (Master of Architecture/Master of Real Estate Development), “but if they get to a point where they might want to start investing in the site, that they would also have that opportunity.”
“We were trying to create homes for people who have different needs and not create just one standardized living environment that might not apply to different people,” she added.
Along with Huntington and faculty advisers Maria Day-Marshall and Bonstra/Haresign’s Rob McClennan, team members Kyle Huck (Master of Architecture/Master of Real Estate Development), Lauren Stamm (Master of Community Planning), Andrew Mazer (Master of Architecture) and Nyasha Mandima (Master of Real Estate Development), were a mix of architecture, development and planning graduate students.
Huntington said the interdisciplinary makeup of the group set them apart from the competition, especially with team members studying real estate development who understand how to finance affordable housing. “At Maryland, we have a big advantage of having all these different disciplines in the same school,” she said. “A lot of the other schools don’t have a dedicated real estate development student so the people who are doing the financing on the other teams are an MBA student, or even an architect or a planner. And even if you are good at financing for business management or something like that, it’s a very different approach to financing… affordable housing.”
Linebaugh reiterated, "With 12 dual degree programs in our school, MAPP+D is a national leader in interdisciplinary graduate education. The students' innovative winning submission clearly demonstrates the strengths of our interdisciplinary approach to the built environment."
Aside from designing sustainable and affordable housing units for San Antonio communities, the plan also incorporated the city’s culture, including wall space for murals and other space for local artists. After the announcement of the final four, the team visited the site in San Antonio, which Huntington said informed refining their design around the edge of the water.
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 17. HUD Secretary Ben Carson presented the UMD students with the $20,000 award.
“When it comes to creating innovative affordable housing, HUD does not do this work alone,” Carson said. “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.”
Read more from Maryland Today's article, find the HUD press release here, and view the teams in action via this webcast.
To view the presentation boards, click on the PDF links below.