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Q&A

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


Registration Q&A


Q: Is this an annual competition?

A: Yes, the HUD Innovation in Affordable Housing (IAH) Student Design and Planning Competition is annual. Registration opens in the fall. Please check https://www.huduser.gov/portal/challenge/home.html for updates on the competition schedule.


Q: Please clarify the programs considered to be “architectural or design related.”

A: Architectural and design related fields include urban planning, engineering, environmental science, public policy, architecture, and most of the social sciences including economics.


Q: Are all team members required to be graduate students?

A: Yes, all students must be enrolled as graduate students to qualify for the competition.


Q: Do team members have to be enrolled in full time graduate courses? For example, can someone in a Co-Op Ed program, Concurrent, Residency or Dissertation student be part of a team?

A: If the student is registered as a graduate student, then it does not matter what part of the program they are in.


Q: Is a student’s minor considered as one of the required disciplines?

A: Yes, the student can register as a team member, since s/he is currently enrolled in graduate school and is minoring in one of the required disciplines.


Q: Can a student compete if they are graduating before the end of the competition? (E.g., a student is graduating in December.)

A: Unfortunately, no. Team members must be enrolled in graduate courses at the time of the Phase I submission – February 14, 2020.


Q: Do you send notification once a team completes registration?

A: Yes. Upon submission of IAH team registration form, a confirmation email is sent to the Team Leader's email address from “helpdesk@huduser.gov” with a subject line of “Registration Confirmation.”


Phase I Q&A


Q: How many teams are participating in Phase I?

A: We are unable to disclose how many teams are participating.


Q: Are adjustments to site plan and internal layouts allowed in Phase II?

A: Yes, we anticipate teams will make changes to their proposal based on information gathered during the site visit in March.


Q: Are we allowed to contact the Santa Fe Housing Authority about specific questions?

A: According to the Competition Guidelines (page 6, under the “Questions” heading): Under no circumstances should there be any communication regarding the competition other than in the manner stipulated here, with HUD PD&R, or the Santa Fe County Housing Authority staff or consultants who are working or have worked on the project, or the competition jury. No phone calls are allowed to HUD, to the Santa Fe County Housing Authority, or to competition jurors. Teams contacting HUD, Santa Fe County Housing Authority, and/or jurors will be eliminated.


Q: Can we change or add team members after the deadline (January 24, 2020)? We have a team member that finds that s/he can dedicate less time to this work because of other commitments and we would like to replace him/her with another student.

A: We cannot make an exception for any team to add or change a member after the final date for changes on January 24, 2020.


Q: The property appraisal lists 6.66 acres total, however much is considered "unusable" leaving 4.59 acres. Some of the unusable land is the long strip of property behind the site, and another large portion is the roadbed of Camino de Jacobo. How much of these pieces of land should be included for calculations on total allowable units based on 29 units/acre?

A: Your team’s submission should describe how much of the land you used for your calculation and how many units you included per acre. Essentially, you determine and provide the answer to this question as part of your plan.


Q: Are we allowed to design structures within the red site line provided to us on the Camino de Jacobo Lot Sale Pricing information pdf?

A: Yes, you can utilize any adjacent parcel of land.


Q: Our team wants to be innovative, mixed use, mixed income, but the pro forma is constrained and locked so that this isn’t really possible to represent. It also makes adding the adjacent site and phasing tough. Did you plan to lock the pro forma in such a way as to prevent adding rows?

A: We did not plan to lock the pro forma. An updated (unlocked) version was distributed to teams on January 28, 2020, and it is available with the competition documents on the competition web site https://www.huduser.gov/portal/challenge/competition_2020.html.


Q: How many units are the teams responsible for providing within their design?

A: Teams should determine their own quantity of units. Parameters are provided to help you decide, such as the total acreage of the plot and the ideal cost of the project.


Q: How many people require housing?

A: This requires teams to do some background research, perhaps looking at the county’s comprehensive plan, annual report, or housing needs report.


Q: For clarity, are we providing design for Low-income Housing or Affordable Housing?

A: The project should concentrate on one- and two-bedroom units serving families at or below 60 percent of the average median income (AMI). The project will be financed by 9 percent tax credit, State of New Mexico Affordable Housing Tax credits, Home funds, NM Housing Trust funds, HUD 542 Enhancement funds, Federal Housing Trust funds, Ventanna funds, land contributions from the County of Santa Fe with possible infrastructure assistance. The City provides reduced fees and certain waivers for Affordable Housing Developments.


Q: What is expected in the Phase I submission?

A: Teams should submit:

  1. A three-page (maximum) narrative including rationale and understanding of the community and planning needs. The written narrative (PFD or Word) to be on standard, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper, single-spaced and in a legible font (e.g., Times New Roman). The font size should be 11 pt. Document margins should be 1 inch on all sides.
  2. A four-page (maximum) presentation/graphic including drawings, schematic floor plans, or any other graphics to visually convey the tenants of the team’s solutions. These can be submitted in a PowerPoint, PDF or other presentation document. Slide One MUST include the site plan.
  3. The completed financial Pro Forma (template provided by HUD https://www.huduser.gov/portal/challenge/competition_2020.html) focusing on sources and uses.
Please see the Phase I Submissions section of the Competition Guidelines (https://www.huduser.gov/portal/sites/default/files/pdf/IAH2020-Competition-Guidelines.pdf) for more information.


Q: One of my teammates needs to drop out of the competition due to extenuating circumstances. Is it possible to change/replace the teammate?

A: Yes, team members may be dropped or replaced (as long as there are at least 3 remaining team members that meet the eligibility requirements). See eligibility requirements here: https://www.huduser.gov/portal/sites/default/files/pdf/IAH2020-Competition-Guidelines.pdf. Changes to teams must be made no later than 11:59 pm ET on January 24, 2020.

    To make changes please email IAH@huduser.gov with the following information:
    Team ID number:
    Name of team member to be replaced:
    Information for new team member:
    First Name:
    Last Name:
    Degree Program:
    University:
    Graduation Year:
    Email address:
    Phone Number:
    US Citizen or Permanent Resident? (Yes/No)


Q: When are Phase I submissions due?

A: The submission deadline is 11:59 pm (Eastern) on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020.


Q: The assigned Pro Forma template restricts users from making changes and currently does not populate the debt service within the cash flow statement section. Could you advise how we can resolve this?

A: A revised Pro Forma template can be found here: https://www.huduser.gov/portal/challenge/competition_2020.html


Q: Are we able to modify aspects of the Pro Forma submission to present our intended financing strategy?

A: The Pro Forma is a guideline for the teams to use. Each team should complete it but can provide supplemental financing information. Jurors use the Pro Forma to make sure the project is viable.


Q: How are the awards distributed to international students? I read that only US Citizens and permanent residents can receive cash awards. Does this mean that money will be withheld from international students?

A: Prize money awarded will be divided among team members that are US citizens or permanent residents. For example, if a team of 5 US citizens is awarded first place ($20,000), each of the 5 members would receive a check for $4,000. If only 4 of the 5 team members are US citizens, then the $20,000 would be divided among those 4 - $5,000 each. Prize money will be distributed to award-winning team members – what the team members do with their prize money is up to them. The amount of the award doesn’t decrease if a winning team has non-US citizens on it; the prize money is just distributed among the US citizens and permanent residents on that team.


Q: Should teams be acting as developers or is the Santa Fe County Housing Authority the developer? We want to make sure our report takes an appropriate tone and stance.

A: Santa Fe County Housing Authority is the developer.


Q: If we choose to pursue LIHTC funds, will you need to see our application plans for conformance under the New Mexico QAP?

A: You do not need to provide the application but should present evidence on how your proposal meets the New Mexico QAP.