UTSOA Team Wins HUD Affordable Housing Competition

April 22, 2016
Sarah Simpson, Brett Clark, Megan Recher, Brianna Garner-Frey, and Tatum Lau won the 2016 Innovation in Affordable Housing Competition...
IAH 2016 Team Handshake

UTSOA students Sarah Simpson, Megan Recher, Brianna Garner-Frey, and Tatum Lau--along with student Brett Clark from the McCombs School of Business--have won the 2016 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Innovation in Affordable Housing Competition. The team, advised by professors Elizabeth Mueller, Jake Wegmann, Dean Almy, and Simon Atkinson, presented their final project on April 19 at HUD headquarters in Washington, D.C., and took home the win, beating teams from the University of Kansas, Harvard University, and the University of Maryland at College Park (UMCP).

The students were awarded a $20,000 first-place prize by a jury of five academics, practitioners, planners, and architects.

HUD and the Housing Authority in the City of Santa Barbara, California challenged the teams to think through the complex challenges associated with rehabbing the Monteria Village public housing development in Santa Barbara. Participants considered design, community development, and financing elements in order to provide an all-encompassing solution that would allow the housing authority to meet its goal of offering safe and sustainable affordable housing to area families. The UTSOA team's winning design completely revitalized the development. It added 39 additional units to Monteria Village for a total of 67 renovated homes, and provided housing opportunities for very low-income families. It also included a centralized Family Opportunity Center, an Education Center, and improved water infiltration and capture on site.

Watch the IAH 2016 awards ceremony on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bC6aMACVctM.


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Innovation in Affordable Housing Competition has been designed to replicate a real-life approach. Multi-disciplinary teams comprised of graduate students in architecture, planning and policy, finance and other areas will be asked to address social, economic, and environmental issues in responding to a specific housing problem developed by an actual public housing agency (PHA).

For more information on this competition, please visit: https://www.huduser.gov/portal/challenge/home.html.