Planning student team one of four finalists in HUD Student Design Competition

Planning student team one of four finalists in HUD Student Design Competition

A team of planning students from Taubman College will represent the University of Michigan as one of four student-led teams selected as finalists by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of its new Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition.

The finalists are competing for the $10,000 first-place prize for the best solution to redevelop the Revolutionary War-era DeBaun House in Bergen County, New Jersey into new permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans. Teams were challenged to consider the complex challenges associated with preserving a historic structure, producing affordable housing, and offering a supportive environment for the homeless throughout the competition.

Team members Aja Bonner (M.U.P.), Amina Kirk (M.U.P./JD), Mitchell Herz (M.U.P./MPP), Oren Brandvain (M.U.P./MLA), and Alysia Andrews (M.U.P.) submission involved designing 24 one-bedroom units and proposed restoring the DeBaun House to serve as a space for community engagement and meetings. It will also house a woodworking shop where the residents can practice and refine their craft. The team also discussed partnering with social service organizations to support the residents.

Teams from New York University, New York University and Columbia University, and The Ohio State University were also selected. The finalists will visit the project site on March 26th to tour the site and the DeBaun House and hear from representatives from the Housing Authority of Bergen County. The competition will culminate on May 6 in a final presentation at HUD Headquarters in Washington, D.C. with HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announcing the winners.