IAH
 

Q&A


All questions must be submitted to IAH@huduser.gov. Questions and answers will be posted to this page in a timely manner.


Most Recent Questions

Q: Is it permitted to propose buildings higher than three stories?

A: Yes. Buildings may be higher than three stories.


Q: Could you please clarify whether there is minimum number of units that need to fulfill each of the following percentages of AMI: 30, 50, 60, and 80?

A: There has been no ratio set for the % of dwellings in the AMI categories.


Q: What is the maximum file size allowed for uploading Phase I submissions?

A: The maximum file size allowed for upload is 20 MB.


Q: "If we propose more than 100 residential units, can we increase the budget above $18M?"

A: The budget for the 100 (minimum) subsidized housing units is 18M. Additional commercial or market rate development undertaken on the site must be self-financing and is not included in the 18M figure. Teams may choose to include affordable housing in that additional development.


Q: Can teams propose new vegetation or bicycle and pedestrian pathways outside the new site map limits to provide access to the site?

A: All development must be within the limits of the site. However, teams should ensure that there is logical and safe access into the site for all residents.


Q: Can you please clarify whether the 20ft setback on the street sides is the maximum or the minimum? Similarly, is the 5ft and 10ft setback on the sides and rear, respectively, are the maximum or minimum?

A: In keeping with the urban form based zoning and the desire to maintain/create a high density urban development, the setbacks should be viewed as maximums. This does not require a continuous line of building along these edges, but rather an edge of building/site/hardscape/integrated softscape defining the site against the adjacent boundaries.


Q: For the market rate portions of our development (i.e. retail, market rate residential, etc.), should we assume there are also no land costs? Or should we pro-rate land costs for those sections of our development?

A: The site is owned outright by SAHA. Rental/lease proceeds from market rate rentals/commercial development may flow back to SAHA to subsidize the development of all 3 aspects of the development. Alternative long-term/short-term financing and land-lease mechanisms should be explored.


Q: For the purposes of applying for 9% LIHTCs, should we be using Texas's Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) from 2019? 2018?

A: Either, if viable and justified


Q: Could you please clarify the requirement for the “street wall”?

A: The “street wall” is not necessarily an independent wall, but could be the edge of the buildings or site elements employed.


Q: For the 60 AMI income limits and the market rates, are we supposed to use the HOME Income Limits for Texas or the values listed on the Planning Design Criteria (Texas Income Limits)?

A: For both the 60 AMI income limits and the market rates, use the listed Planning and Design Criteria. If credible reasons for using other available benchmarks can be established, they also may be used. Be clear about which metrics are applied, and if necessary, indicate why.


Q: The guidelines state one half of new apartments are to be 2-bedrooms. Does this mean one half of 100 units or one half of however many units we propose? Also, would 3-bedroom units count toward meeting this quota? Is this percentage intended to apply to both the affordable and market rate units?"

A: One-half of all dwellings proposed should be 2-bedroom. Studios, 1-bedroom, and 3-bedroom units are other than 2-bedroom.


Q: Should we operate under the assumption that applications for tax credits to fund our proposed development would be made during the year 2019, or are we allowed, for the purposes of this competition, to "pretend" that the 2018 QAP is still in effect?

A: It is up to the discretion of the design team.


Q: To what extent can we change and/or adjust the pro-forma?

A: The provided proforma template must be used. This will enable the judges to accurately compare the submissions.


Q: When using the provided pro-forma, can we keep the given tabs, but add our own separate tabs?

A: Additional tabs may be included, BUT, the requested information in all current tabs should be included.


Q: Can you clarify if the HUD-specified income limits (given by household size) on Pg. 5 constitute roughly 80% of AMI and then was adjusted by household size per HUD requirements?

A: The financial information regarding income limits is considered complete for the purposes of the competition.


Q: Can we phase construction to minimize/contain cost? More specifically, can our total construction soft and hard costs exceed $18 million if it is not all incurred in the same year but instead phased over time?

A: Phasing is permitted, but it will not alter the budget. Note that the 18 million budget is for the subsidized housing only. All other included building (commercial/market rate) must be self funding/sustaining.


Q: Is the $18m construction budget for the residential component of the proposal inclusive of parking construction costs, even if the parking is shared with retail spaces?

A: The 18M budget will cover all the costs for the subsidized housing portion of the project including those amenities dedicated for use by them.


Q: Can you clarify where the "sides" and "rear" are of the site?

A: As this lot could be viewed as having multiple “fronts”, the design team should select the definition most appropriate for its site plan.


Q: Can you please clarify the income limits for the dwellings planned.

A: The AMI requirements range from 30% to 80% for the affordable dwellings planned. The program additionally calls for market rate dwellings to be constructed which do not have income limits.


Q: Could you please clarify the total area upon which we can build and the total area upon which we cannot build, i.e. the total area that would be reserved for green space?

A: The developable area including what were temporary easements is 2.98 acres. The site is zoned FBZ (Form-Based-Zoning) T6-2 with a RIO (River-Improvement-District-Overlay)-2.


Q: Can you please clarify whether the 20ft setback on the street sides is the maximum or the minimum? Similarly, is the 5ft and10ft setback on the sides and rear, respectively, maximum or minimum?

A: In keeping with the urban form based zoning and the desire to maintain/create a high density urban development, the setbacks should be viewed as minimums. This does not require a continuous line of building along these edges, but rather an edge of building/site/hardscape/integrated softscape defining the site against the adjacent boundaries.


Q: For the market rate portions of our development (i.e. retail, market rate residential, etc.), should we assume there are also no land costs? Or should we pro-rate land costs for those sections of our development?

A: The site is owned outright by SAHA. Rental/lease proceeds from market rate rentals/commercial development may flow back to SAHA to subsidize the development of all 3 aspects of the development. Alternative long-term/short-term financing and land-lease mechanisms should be explored.


Q: For the purposes of applying for 9% LIHTCs, should we be using Texas's Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) from 2019? 2018?

A: You may use either, if viable and justified


Q: Can teams propose new vegetation or bicycle and pedestrian pathways outside the new site map limits to provide access to the site?

A: All development must be within the limits of the site. However, teams should ensure that there is logical and safe access into the site for all residents.


Q: Can you clarify what the minimum number of units are allowed under T6-2 zoning? How can we leverage the density bonus?

A: Per the competition program and HA goals, a minimum of 100 units can be targeted. Teams should feel free to explore solutions that yield higher density.


Q: Are the river setbacks measured from the parcel edge or the river edge?

A: The setbacks are measured from river edge.


Q: Can we propose vegetation or pathways outside our parcel limits to provide access to river?

A: Recent Q&A has been posted (and/or distributed to all teams via email) clarifying that the easements indicated on a site map were temporary and should be ignored. A new site map has been posted; as well, an additional county map was emailed to all teams on 01-10-2019.


Q: Does the $18M budget for the residential portion include: construction, architectural and engineering, interim construction expense, financing fees and expenses, other soft costs, developer fee, and reserves?

A: The $18M budget covers all costs for the development of the residential portion of the project.


Q: Could innovative financing in the form of free money allow us to exceed that $18 million for residential?

A: Yes, as long as you provide a credible explanation and defense of your decision-making process.


Q: Is the $18,000,000 budget only for the residential portion and does this include only the residential units or are common areas/resident amenities included? If this is true, are the commercial spaces and outdoor site elements in addition to the $18M budget?

A: The $18,000,000 is for residential and includes residential amenities and community space. The commercial space will need to be financed separately, based on market rents. Be innovative.


Q: Can we build within the easements, which are indicated on the site map? If not, are there exceptions?

A: The easements, indicated with solid lines on the sitemap, are temporary and will be removed or otherwise addressed during predevelopment.


Q: Are teams to assume that the land costs will be the same for all teams, and do not need to be incorporated into the pro forma?

A: Teams should assume that land costs are the same for all teams and do not need to be incorporated into the pro forma.


Q: May teams pursue any sort of zoning relaxation or variance on the site, or should the zoning requirements listed in the criteria be followed exactly as they are written?

A: Zoning requirements are quite complex for this site. Teams may pursue zoning relaxation; however, any variance must be clearly defended.


 

Q: Please clarify discrepancies on the site map.

A: The site includes two zones that were temporary easements. The site is inclusive of the easements, which were created at one point to facilitate construction of a neighboring parcel, but do not interfere with the development of our site, and should be considered part of the developable area. Note that the riverwalk is a public space, and access to the riverwalk is anticipated to any retail proposed for the site. Lastly, on some maps there is a smaller corner parcel at the intersection of N. St. Mary's and Brooklyn. This is also part of the larger parcel that makes up the rest of the block. All parcels and the easement are zoned FBZ T6-2 (the 2 is a reference to the RIO-2 overlay).


Q: When will the judges for the competition will be announced?

A: Jurors will be announced by mid-January.


Q: Our team includes one Architecture Student, one Urban Design Student, and Two Urban and Regional Planning Students. Do Architecture, Urban Design, and Urban and Regional Planning qualify as three disciplines; and, does Urban and Regional Planning qualify as a non-design-related discipline?

A: So long as these are three separate programs, the team would qualify. And, Urban and Regional Planning would qualify if the emphasis is on policy and not design.


Q: I am a faculty advisor, attempting to put a team together. Some of the students will be graduating at the end of this fall semester. They will be students at the time of application, but not at the time of completion. Is this an eligible team?

A: Unfortunately, no. All team members must be enrolled graduate students throughout the competition.


Q: For a team of five members excluding the faculty member, would it be okay if only three members are permanent residents or citizens of the USA?

A: Per the competition guidelines, teams must comprise at least three members who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The remaining team members may be international students. Team leaders must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Note that due to federal requirements, only U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible to receive cash awards.


Q: I am assuming that December 10 is the registration deadline. So, when is the deadline for submitting the proposal? Could you provide a timeline for the project deliverables?

A: Complete timeline is posted on the website. Phase I submissions are due on February 5, 2019; Final Jury in DC is on April 17, 2019.


Q: I am a HUD employee, but also a student in a graduate program. May I join a team to compete in the IAH?

A: Unfortunately, no. This is not possible, due to conflict of interest.


Q: I teach architecture and planning studios at the graduate level. I would like to use this competition for my spring semester studio. However, due to the academic calendar, I will not know my students' names until after the registration deadline. Can I add the students names after the registration deadline? Can I register teams and change the names after the deadline?

A: Yes, you may register teams and add the names when the semester begins. Be sure to register the teams by December 10, 2018.


Q: Our program is a 5-year professionally accredited bachelor’s degree program. If our students team up with graduate students from other disciplines to make up the team will that be acceptable?

A: Unfortunately, no. According to the competition rules, all team members must be actively pursuing a graduate degree.


Q: I am currently enrolled in a Certificate program of a Graduate School of a certified university. Am I eligible to compete?

A: Unfortunately, no. Per the eligibility requirements, all team members must be pursuing a Graduate degree.


Q: If the competition team has less than five members (i.e., four members) do three members still have to be US citizens or will the number be less?

A: The requirement would still be for three members to be US citizens or permanent residents.


Q: Can a faculty advisor advise more than one team?

A: Yes, a faculty advisor may work with multiple teams.


Q: May undergraduate students in engineering compete in the IAH competition?

A: No, the competition is open only to graduate students. However, teams comprising engineering students would be fine, but must be at the graduate level.


Q: Is the following eligibility requirement compulsory: "Team leaders must be US citizens or permanent residents; teams must comprise at least three members who are US citizens or permanent residents. The remaining team members may be international students."

A: Yes. At least three members of the team, including the Team Leader, must be US citizens or permanent residents.


Q: Is a part-time graduate student eligible to participate?

A: Yes, team members must be current full or part time graduate students.


Q: Does the requirement for at least three disciplines include Bachelor's Degree background?

A: No. Teams must include members who are pursuing graduate degrees in three different disciplines, at least one of which must be a non-design-related discipline.


Q: Is it acceptable to work with a local architect to develop our schematics?

A: No, the team must comprise ONLY graduate students. The faculty advisor, who is not a member of the team, can provide appropriate guidance as necessary.


Q: Are recent grads eligible to join teams participating in the competition?

A: All team members must be currently enrolled in a graduate degree program to be eligible to compete.


Q: Are DWG or other kinds of files for the competition available?

A: Unfortunately, no. The only files are the PDFs that are linked through the website.


Q: What are the team and individual eligibility requirements?

A: All team members must be enrolled in a graduate degree program from an accredited educational institution in the United States. All teams must be made up of no less than three and no more than five members. Teams must comprise at least three citizens or permanent residents of the United States, including the team leader. The remaining members may be international students.


Q: What constitutes a multidisciplinary team?

A: Each team must have three to five members representing at least three disciplines that grant three different degrees, one of which must be a non-design-related discipline. For example, teams can comprise graduate students in architecture, planning, public policy, finance, business administration, and real estate development. Team members should be following degrees that will inform and enhance the team’s solution.


Q: As university faculty, can we integrate this competition into our semester curriculum?

A: Yes, we encourage connecting the competition to course content. In fact, last year's winning team was a class project, as were finalists in all four years of the competition.


Q: Are international students eligible to compete in IAH 2019?

A: Yes, all international students, including those on student visas, are eligible to compete in IAH 2019. However, team leaders must be citizens or permanent residents of the US, and all teams must be comprised of at least three citizens or permanent residents of the US. The remaining team members may be international students. International students are not eligible to receive prize money.


Q: Are undergraduate students eligible to participate in IAH 2019?

A: No, all team members must be currently enrolled in a degree-conferring graduate program. As this is an annual competition, we encourage undergraduates to think about participating in the future when in graduate school.


Q: Can one university field multiple teams?

A: Yes, there is no limit to the number of teams that can compete from a single university.


Q: May a team include members from more than one university?

A: Yes, as long as at least three disciplines are represented, team members can be from different schools.


Q: Can a PhD student serve as a faculty advisor?

A: Yes, a PhD student may serve as the advisor. The advisor's role is to support the team and provide guidance, as needed. There are no other specific requirements, except that the advisor may not participate as a full member of the team.


Q: Can we view the winning projects from past IAH competitions?

A: Detailed information on past winners, and a video of the 2018 final project presentations in DC can be found here.


Q: Can you provide additional information on the competition program?

A: The detailed program will be released on December 11, 2018 immediately after close of registration. We cannot provide any additional information until that time. However, since there is no cost to register, we would encourage you to create a team in any case.


Q: Our university does not have an architecture program. Would we need an architecture student as a part of the team?

A: The guidelines state that each team must have members representing at least three disciplines that grant three different degrees, at least one of which must be a non-design-related discipline. It is up to each team to determine its makeup. You are free to enlist members from other schools and the TeamFinder link on the competition homepage can be an aid to locating additional team members.





HUDUSER and PD&R logo