2021 HUD Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition

Registration date:


Submission date:




About the Competition HUD PD&R invites teams from accredited educational institutions in the United States to participate in its Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition. Teams must be comprised of students enrolled in a graduate degree program.
The need for quality, affordable housing has never been greater. At its best, housing can help strengthen the social and physical fabric of communities and neighborhoods. It is the hope of HUD and PD&R that by initiating and funding this competition, a new generation will advance the design and production of livable and sustainable housing for low- and moderate-income people through research and innovation.
MAKING IT ACTIONABLE The IAH 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). The Importance of a Team Approach This competition is designed to encourage research and innovation in affordable housing, to raise practitioner and future practitioner capacity, and to foster cross-cutting team-work within the design and community development process. The IAH will join the suite of annual PD&R awards for community planning, historic preservation, and affordable housing design.
Multidisciplinary teams must be comprised of a minimum of three students and a maximum of five, plus one faculty advisor. Each team must have members representing three different graduate level programs; one of which must be from an architectural or design-related program, and one of which must be from a non-architectural program. There are many acceptable permutations; here is one example for clarity:
2 M. Architecture candidates
1 M. Planning or Public Policy candidate
2 MBA candidates
All team members must be enrolled in a graduate degree program from an accredited educational institution in the United States.
All team leaders must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States.
All teams must be comprised of at least three citizens or permanent residents of the United States.
Registration for the 2021 IAH Competition is open! Enter a team.
Looking for teammates? Use the Team Finder forum to connect with other students.
Competition Schedule
Competition launch; registration opens; guidelines and criteria announced


Deadline for teams to register: Noon Eastern Standard Time


Detailed Program Site and Housing Authority announced


Deadline for teams to submit Phase I: Noon Eastern Standard Time


Finalists announced; Phase II released*


Site visit for finalists (travel conditions permitting)

Early March 2021

Phase II submissions due


Final presentations and awards ceremony in DC (travel conditions permitting)

Mid-April 2021