About 80 students from WSU lost a full night of sleep over the first weekend of November as they worked to find affordable housing solutions in the Pacific Northwest. They were joined by students from the University of Idaho in participating in a 24-hour Hack-A-House hackathon event on the Pullman campus.

Home prices are rising faster than inflation in the Pacific Northwest. One in every four renters in the U.S. spends half of their income in rent as the way Americans finance and build housing has remained unchanged over the last century. Nationally, the housing shortfall is estimated at 7.3 million units.

As part of the competition, the students who came from a wide variety of majors explored innovative solutions to this challenge with leading experts in the field. Their goal was to change the trend of formulaic housing, finance, policy, design and construction.

Graduate students Jake Monroe, Cole Coddington, Ezekiel Nelson and Gabriel Hernandez took first place at the event for their design of housing built beneath farm fields. The winning team went on to attend the Hive Conference, a two-day national housing conference in Austin, Texas on Dec. 4.

Zeke Nelson, Gabe Hernandez, Cole Coddington, and Jacob Monroe, members from the eventual winning team of the Hack-a-House competition, discuss their project during the event.

The event was sponsored by Ivory Innovations and Ivory Homes, Utah’s leading home building company.