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PD&R Edge, an online magazine, provides you with a snapshot view of our newly released research, periodicals, publications, news, and commentaries on housing and urban development issues. Stay informed on current topics and check back frequently, as our content is routinely updated.
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The 2023 Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition

Each year, HUD's Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition invites graduate students enrolled in accredited educational institutions in the United States to form multidisciplinary teams to respond to an existing affordable housing design and planning issue. In this, the competition’s 10th anniversary, the competition partnered with the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) to challenge the competitors to create innovative approaches to redeveloping a property with two vacant apartment buildings. The four finalists included the University of Maryland College Park, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Harvard University, and the University of Texas at Austin (UTA).

New on PD&R Edge

PD&R Leadership:
G7 Urban Sustainable Urban Ministers’ Meeting in Takamatsu, Japan
In the Leadership Message, Cynthia Campbell, director of PD&R's Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation, discusses HUD’s participation in the second G7 Sustainable Urban Ministers’ Meeting. The meeting covered four major topics: carbon neutral and resilient cities, inclusive cities, digitization, and the United States’ support of efforts in Ukraine. In discussing inclusive cities, HUD highlighted the Interagency Task Force on Property Appraisal Valuation Equity. This program is unique to the United States, and the concept was well received by attendees. In the session on digitization, HUD highlighted its efforts to provide open-source datasets as well as research and market reports. Italy will host the next G7 Sustainable Urban Ministers’ Meeting in October 2024.

PD&R at 50:
The Evolving Federal Role in Community Development
PD&R’s involvement in community development initiatives stretches back almost to its founding. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, for example, was established in 1974. CDBG subsumed and replaced eight categorical grant programs, including the Urban Renewal and Model Cities programs. More recently, the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) initiative paired teams of federal employees with cities to address specific local issues. PD&R also assists communities in providing data, research, and technical assistance to help practitioners use existing programs as effectively as possible. In addition, PD&R’s evaluations and research projects often seek to demonstrate the merits and flaws of different community development strategies, thereby helping practitioners do their jobs better.

In Practice:
The Nation’s Second-Largest Supportive Housing Project Comes to Downtown Brooklyn
Initially built in 1992 as a residential hotel for volunteers of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, a Jehovah’s Witness organization, the 90 Sands building in Brooklyn’s downtown Dumbo neighborhood reopened in 2022 as permanent affordable housing. Nonprofit developer Breaking Ground purchased the site and undertook a $254 million retrofit of the 30-story building, which included opening a previously inaccessible square to the public. Today, 90 Sands is the country’s second largest supportive housing development, offering 490 low- and moderate-income units, 305 of which are reserved for individuals transitioning out of homelessness. To move clients from homelessness more quickly into a unit at 90 Sands, Breaking Ground worked with the New York City Department of Homeless Services to pilot a new, streamlined method for screening potential tenants.

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