Bank of America Merrill Lynch named the University of Washington as the winner of its 2015 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Low Income Housing Challenge.

The team was awarded top honors after submitting a business plan for the development of “Spur in the Wedge Village” in Tacoma, Washington.

This is the 24th year of the competition, which challenges undergraduate and graduate students to envision new and innovative models of housing for low- to moderate-income residents.

The proposals are required to be both forward-looking and feasible in the current economic and fiscal climate and are reviewed by a jury of affordable housing professionals possessing development, finance, planning, architecture and government expertise.

The challenge was designed to inform, educate and attract the next generation of affordable housing professionals, and over the years, the challenge has resulted in the construction of a number of safe and affordable housing developments.

This year’s program featured eight teams and six schools, who competed to develop affordable housing proposals for possible future development. 

"With a continued growing demand for affordable housing in the U.S., attracting and building future leaders in this industry is crucial. Through the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Low Income Housing Challenge, students are introduced to the affordable housing industry and have the opportunity to connect with leaders in the field," said Ari Beliak, vice president for Bank of America’s community development banking.

"Throughout the 24-year history of this program, we are pleased to see the number of former participants who have become affordable housing leaders. It is exciting when proposals created during the Challenge become a reality and have a real-world impact on local communities,” Beliak added.