Three MBA Programs Team Up to Win Second in Housing Challenge

Students from all three Berkeley MBA programs combined forces to place second in the 20th annual Bank of America Low Income Housing Challenge earlier this month. Judges hailed the Berkeley team's strong finance, design, community support, and green elements.

Brush St. Commons, a family-oriented development in Oakland featuring on-site child care and a community center with computer access, was the product of a team effort by evening and weekend MBA students Andy Beck, MBA 12, and Bhawna Sapra, MBA 13; Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA student Jim Farris, MBA 12; full-time student Hoyt She, MBA 12; and Anastasia Victor, a graduate student in the College of Environmental Design. Cal Poly won first place.

Students were asked to create a proposal for an affordable housing development in their local community or region. Teams partnered with an affordable-housing developer to identify a site, and then worked with industry professionals to develop a financially feasible and realistic project.

Berkeley-Haas students began work on their 50-page proposal in January to meet the May 6 deadline and gave their final presentation May 12 in San Francisco.

“We learned a great deal about the complexity of affordable housing finance,” says Beck. “We couldn't have done it without the support of numerous former Cal Bears, some of whom were previous BofA competition participants. It’s a true testament to the quality and depth of our Cal alumni.”

To learn more, view the team’s five-minute multimedia presentation.