More than 120 Boston College students on 28 teams have signed up to take part in the inaugural Corcoran Case Competition, sponsored by the Carroll School’s Joseph E. Corcoran Center for Real Estate and Urban Action. The theme of the late-March competition is “The Future of Housing,” specifically affordable housing, and the cash prize for the winning team is $5,000.
“Lack of affordable housing is a national crisis. The United States loses over 125,000 units of affordable housing each year. The Low-Income Housing Credit is crucial to combating the affordable housing crisis,” the Corcoran Center says on a web page dedicated to the competition (referring to the federal program that provides tax incentives to developers to create affordable housing).
The 28 teams will be winnowed down to three during a first round of daylong competition on March 28, and the finalists will make their presentations on Saturday, March 30. Judges will include nationally prominent figures in the fields of housing finance and community development.
During the run-up to the competition, the Corcoran Center is holding a series of events and workshops for competing teams. Students are learning about the history and purpose of the Low-Income Housing Credit as well as practical matters such as underwriting and marketing affordable housing. The five-month initiative began this past November with a panel discussion in Fulton Hall featuring U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Mass.).
“In the competition, students will be analyzing a real housing deal,” Corcoran Center Executive Director Neil McCullagh told BC News at the time of the kickoff. “They will need to present their best understanding of the policy and their analysis of the deal outlined in the case. They will then present their solution and recommendations to the judges. The best team will walk away with the grand prize.” Second and third prizes are $1000 and $500, respectively.
William Bole is senior writer and editor at the Carroll School.