Rutgers team one of four finalists for HUD 2017 Innovation in Affordable Housing competition

March 13, 2017

Congratulations to the Rutgers University team of Chelsea Moore-Ritchie (MCRP), Christine Winter (MCRP), Jane Allen (MCRP-MPP), Sharone Small (MCRP), and Kimberly Tryba (Landscape Architecture), who were selected as one of four team finalists for the 2017 HUD Innovation in Affordable Housing Competition. They are working with Bloustein School Professor Tony Nelessen.

The IAH competition is designed to replicate a real-life approach. Multi-disciplinary teams comprised of graduate students in architecture, planning and policy, finance, and other areas address social, economic, and environmental issues in responding to a specific housing problem developed by an actual public housing agency (PHA).

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.

The site for the 2017 IAH Competition is Woodhill Homes, a 478-unit multifamily property located in Cleveland, Ohio that is owned and operated by the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA).  Through collaboration, professional advice, and an extensive revision process, the five-person Rutgers team, which includes four Bloustein School graduate students, developed a unique solution that utilized the site’s potential. They sought to create a redevelopment proposal that concentrated on improving life for the current residents. The site presented numerous challenges, including steep grade changes, zoning constraints on required parking ratios and building heights, and impersonal, barracks-like buildings that the housing authority indicated they would keep. The Rutgers design reimagined the site, forming a spectrum of semi-private and public spaces for all age groups, improving site flow, increasing energy efficiency, and added a mixed-use building with community space for resident services. In addition, they developed a pro forma that used a RAD conversion and lower utility costs to facilitate the use of tax-exempt bond financing and 4% LIHTC with limited subsidy for the redevelopment financials.

The four finalist teams will present their proposals on April 18 in Washington, DC. $20,000 will be awarded to the first-place team and $10,000 to the runner-up. For more information about the competition, visit



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