Two Taubman College Teams Advance to Finals of Nationwide H.U.D. Competition

Of the four finalists in the 2021 Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition, two are from Taubman College.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.), the 2021 competition focuses on the rural community of Firebaugh, California. Fresno Housing owns and operates a collection of five existing affordable and public housing sites in the community that serves low-income families, seniors, and farm workers. The properties are contiguously located; however, they are separated by unappealing fences leaving residents without the option for community connectedness in this neighborhood.

Teams were asked to develop innovative plans that transform the neighborhood, keeping residents’ needs and quality of life in mind. Teams were challenged to design physical connections throughout the neighborhood in order to boost resident engagement and positively impact the quality of life, housing, and community. Fresno Housing hopes to complete a vision stitching the five properties together to create a fluid and walkable sense of community, rather than the existing fenced-off and divided place it is today.

The annual competition, now in its eighth year, invites teams of graduate students pursuing degrees in planning, public policy, architecture, real estate finance or development, and business to propose solutions that demonstrate the interdisciplinary teams’ understanding of community, population served, housing affordability, and the development process, including design and finance.

Taubman College’s teams in the 2021 finals are:

Andrew Darvin, Katie Wheeler, Chris Prinsen, Avanti Krovi, Alex Sulek
Faculty adviser: Marc Norman

Tom Bagley, Rowan Brady, Mitch Deans, Mac Carroll, AnnaBronwyn Shields
Faculty adviser: Sharon Haar

Teams will conduct virtual site visits in mid-March, and the final presentations and awards ceremony will take place in mid-April.

Learn more about the 2021 H.U.D. competition here.