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Bank of America Merrill Lynch Low Income Housing Challenge

A UW Runstad Center sponsored student team competed in the BAML Affordable Housing Challenge Finals in San Francisco for third year in a row on May 12th.
The team included four Runstad MSRE students, two MArch students and one Evans School student and competed against UCLA, Cal Berkeley, Cal Poly, and Arizona in the 25th anniversary of the BAML Challenge. (Vickey Clarke, MPA Candidate, Emily Darling, M Arch Candidate, Emma Ramoy, M Arch Candidate, Fan Fan, MSRE Candidate, Hang Yin, MSRE Candidate, Youyang Wang, MSRE Candidate, and Megan Adams, MSRE/MUP Candidate).

While the UW did not defend its championship, the team produced a project that the development sponsor Imagine Housing was very impressed with and intends to pursue in the future. The site in the Eastgate neighborhood consists of an existing 18-unit affordable development that the students proposed to redevelop with a new 88-unit mixed income development funded with 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits among other sources. The proposal also included an innovative partnership with Bellevue College.
The students were complimented by the judges on the quality of their design, and soundness of their financing plan and operating budgets as well as the quality of their overall written and graphic presentations.

Ultimately the judges had questions regarding the mixed income character of the UW team’s proposal and the complex land transaction involved, and they named Cal Poly and Berkeley as co champions this year. Al Levine, Sarah Lewontin and Rick Moehler served as faculty advisors to the team.

Fan Fan, MSRE Candidate, was one of the participants. She is interested in affordable housing, which inspired her to join Al and Sarah’s class last quarter. Fan viewed the competition as a perfect way to combine real world problems and lessons learned in the classroom. With respect to the competition, Fan said, “… it’s amazing to work with a team that has different backgrounds. We inspired each other during the competition. For example, architects need to think about money problems, and sometimes our finance people need to compromise because of City regulations. Overall, it was a fun and educational experience.”