About the Challenge
The Bank of America Community Development Banking group created the Low Income Housing Challenge in 1992. Since then, the bank has sponsored this regional competition that challenges undergraduate and graduate student teams to offer their best ideas and strategies for the development of affordable housing. Their task requires a great deal of thought and vision as they develop concepts, designs, community support and, financing for housing projects that are affordable for lowi-income households. Participation in this competition gives students an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to critically important human needs.
Proposals are judged by local professionals from a variety of fields within the housing industry. Jurors include project managers representing nonprofit developers, representatives from advocacy and trade organizations, tax credit investors, lenders, and architects.
The proposals developed each year by student teams are evaluated for concept and design as well as for financial feasibility. For the Challenge, the term low-income is considered to refer to households earning 80% or below the median household income, with not more than 30% of the household income allocated for a rent payment. Within these parameters, teams are asked to submit project proposals that are competitive under real world market conditions and constraints.
Since 1992, the Bank of America Low Income Housing Challenge has become an annual tradition in the industry that provides a forum for students and professionals to learn from each other.