Ankeny Student Wins Affordable Housing Competition

Can I Be Your Neighbor Design Challenge Wraps Up Affordable Housing Week

Ankeny Student Wins Affordable Housing Competition

Sydney Christman’s affordable home design took top honors in the Can I Be Your Neighbor Design Challenge which wrapped up the Polk County Housing Trust Fund’s sixth annual Affordable Housing Week, April 16-21.  

Sydney, a senior at Ankeny High School, won a $2,000 scholarship from the Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines. The runners up, Bashar Eid, a sophomore at Central Campus (Roosevelt High School), received $500 from the Polk County Housing Trust Fund and Jessica Svoboda, a senior from Ankeny Centennial High, received $500 provided by ASK Studio.

Pictured is winner Sydney Christman being congratulated by Dan Knoup, Executive Officer of the Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines and provider of the $2,000 scholarship prize.

More than 50 students from five central Iowa high schools were given the profile of a fictional family who would live in the home, the location of a vacant in-fill lot in Des Moines and parameters, such as maximum square footage and cost limitations. The competition, managed by ASK Studio, a Des Moines architectural firm, included classroom visits by architects and a homebuilder professional to provide feedback to the students on their preliminary designs.

Five designs were selected for the competition event at Grand View University’s Krumm Business Center. Each finalist had up to five minutes to present their design, followed by a question and answer session with a panel of judges that included Bobbi Jo Duneman, ASK Studio; Pam Carmichael, HOME Inc.; Dan Knoup, Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines; and Tramesha Davis, a resident of Anawim Housing. The judges scored the presentations and designs based on sensitivity to the needs of the family, ingenuity of space utilization, budget realism, flexibility for changing needs of the family and image of the home.

About Affordable Housing Week

Affordable Housing Week is an annual initiative spearheaded by the Polk County Housing Trust Fund to provide opportunities to learn more about the critical role of safe, stable and affordable housing in creating a healthy and economically vibrant community. The activities and events were also made possible with the support of Anawim Housing, ASK Studio, Central Iowa Shelter & Services, CommonBond Communities, DART, Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines, Iowa Legal Aid, Oakridge Neighborhood, OpportUNITY, Polk County Continuum of Care Board, Primary Health Care, Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa, United Way of Central Iowa, and Urban Land Institute Iowa.