Form a Team. Create a Plan. Make a Real-World Impact.

The second annual HUD Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition (IAH) challenges multi-disciplinary, graduate student teams to respond to a real life affordable housing design and planning issue. The competition is sponsored by HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R).


2015 IAH Competition Updates

Event Recap: 2015 IAH Final Four Jury and Awards Presentation

  • If you were unable to attend the event, the webcast in its entirety is now available online. You can watch the four finalists present their innovative solutions, hear the teams respond to questions asked by the jury, and see the exciting conclusion of the competition as Assistant Secretary of HUD Policy Development and Research (PD&R) presents the awards to the first- and second-place teams! Watch the webcast here.
  • View photos from the event.

HUD Announces the Winner of the 2015 IAH Competition


HUD Announces the Winner of the 2015 IAH CompetitionThe graduate student team from New York University (NYU) is the winner of HUD’s second annual Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition. The NYU team developed a plan for the redevelopment of a senior affordable housing high-rise in Houma, Louisiana. HUD also announced a team from UCLA as the runner up.

“These bright minds represent the next generation of designers and planners who will produce tomorrow’s affordable housing,” said Katherine O’Regan, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research. “It’s our hope that this competition will excite new creative thinking about how to look at affordable housing.”

Thank you to all of the teams that participated in this year’s competition, and congratulations to the winners!

Read the press release.


Student Finalists Participate in Site Visit to New Orleans, LA


On Wednesday, March 18, 2015, the four finalist teams competing in the 2015 Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Completion, gathered in New Orleans, LA for a visit to the competition site. After a stunning drive into Bayou Country southwest of NOLA, the teams were graciously hosted by Wayne Thibodeaux, Executive Director of the Houma Terrebonne Housing Authority and his staff.

Settling into a meeting room at Bayou Towers after coffee, doughnuts, and local snacks, the teams had the opportunity to hear from representatives from HUD headquarters, HUD’s New Orleans Field Office, the Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government, Terrebonne Council on Aging, and the Golden Agers Resident Council. In the afternoon, the group was taken on a two-hour tour of the City of Houma, stopping at various new and planned housing developments, a senior center, and local sites. Wrapping up the day, competitors were guided through an extensive tour of the existing building, led by the Bayou Towers’ Asset Manager and Maintenance Supervisor, which included viewing several apartments as well as the mechanical rooms.

The trip provided significant insight into the community, the population served, and the challenges to be met. All parties are looking forward to the Final Four Jury and Award Presentation next month in Washington, DC.

Many thanks to all who contributed to making this site visit such an overwhelming success.

Read the article published in Houma Today http://www.houmatoday.com/article/2015150319605?tc=ar


Announcement: The Finalists Have Been Selected for the 2015 Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition!

The final four teams are:

  • Team 59 - University of Kansas
  • Team 82 - University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • Team 97 - New York University
  • Team 124 - University of Minnesota

These teams will move on to Phase II of the competition, culminating in a final presentation, which will be delivered live in front of the competition jurors and a public audience on April 21, 2015 in Washington, DC. Thank you to all the teams that participated in this year's competition, and congratulations to the finalists!

Read the press release


All program details for the 2015 competition have been released!

  • The housing authority and site location is...Houma-Terrebonne Housing Authority (HTHA) in Houma, Louisiana!
  • The current site contains an eleven-story senior housing facility, with 300 dwelling units. Competitors may choose to either substantially rehabilitate or replace the existing structure, which was first completed in 1971.

The deadline for teams to submit the Phase I solution is February 9, 2015. All of the information needed for Phase I has been posted on the 2015 Competition Information page

Please note: Participants are not permitted to contact the housing authority directly. All questions should be sent to IAH2015@huduser.org.


Important Dates:


Registration Opens
Competition launch (problem & criteria released)
Deadline for teams to register
Phase I questions released (site and HA information)
Deadline for teams to submit Phase l solution
Finalists announced; Phase ll released
Site visit for finalists
Final jury and winners announced in DC



$20,000 to the winning team
$10,000 to the runner up

Sign up to receive competition updates as they become available.

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