The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced $10.5 million in grant awards to four Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) to establish research Centers of Excellence (COEs) to conduct housing and community development research.
HUD made the announcement at the University of Arizona in Tucson, which is partnering with Arizona State University to launch the Arizona Research Center for Housing Equity and Sustainability (ARCHES) with support from HUD.
Additional schools that have been awarded grants include Texas Tech University, The University of Texas at Austin, and Texas A&M University.
“It is fitting that we are making this announcement as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “HUD is committed to working with our partners in Hispanic communities to ensure access to affordable, fair, and safe housing and homeownership opportunities. These grants assist Hispanic Serving Institutions in achieving this goal.”
An HSI is defined as an institution of higher education that is an eligible institution; and has an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students that is at least 25% Hispanic students at the end of the award year immediately preceding the date of application.
HUD’s funding empowers awardees to conduct innovative research addressing housing, economic development, and the built environment in underserved communities, leveraging their unique perspectives as institutions serving these areas.
"Each of these universities serves as opportunity accelerators for students and anchors for their communities," said Solomon Greene, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research. "These grants will help them build their capacity to do rigorous and timely research that addresses some of the most pressing housing and community development issues in their community. At HUD, we look forward to learning alongside them and sharing the research and evidence-based insights they develop so all communities can benefit."
ASU received $3 million for the Arizona Research Center for Housing Equity and Sustainability (ARCHES) HSI Center of Excellence, a collaborative effort with the University of Arizona (UA) Drachman Institute. ARCHES aims to enhance housing security, climate, and health in the arid Southwest, including New Mexico, through research on equitable housing growth, aging community health, and housing resilience, using diverse data sources and rigorous analytics.
Texas Tech University was awarded $3,207,839 for the Center of Excellence in Climate Resilient and Equitable Housing (CECREH). CECREH will address disparities in disaster-stricken communities, especially among low-income and minority groups, by advancing research across various disciplines like engineering, economics, and social sciences. This research will lead to innovative post-disaster housing recovery solutions for underserved communities.
The University of Texas at Austin received $2,459,527 for the UT Austin Equitable Technologies for Housing Innovation Center (ETHIC). ETHIC will research spatial patterns affecting housing inequity, develop an industrialized construction system for more affordable housing and jobs, and apply sustainable methods to tackle climate change's impact on housing equity across the supply chain.
Texas A&M University secured $1,832,634 to create the Center of Excellence in Hispanic Housing Studies (CoHHS). CoHHS aims to enhance environmental health and economic well-being for Hispanic households and communities through community-informed practices, policies, and products. It will also utilize outreach programs to identify research-driven solutions and develop evidence-based toolkits for meaningful change.