Gibbs Faculty Awarded Significant Homebuilding Education Leadership Program Grant

National Homebuilding Endowment

A team of Gibbs College of Architecture faculty, led by professor Somik Ghosh of the Haskell and Irene Lemon Construction Science Division, was recently awarded a $95,600 Homebuilding Education Leadership Program (HELP) grant. HELP grants are sponsored by the National Housing Endowment of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Ghosh commented, “This grant from NAHB will help us build upon our efforts to educate students across the OU campus about the homebuilding industry and its opportunities.”

According to the National Housing Endowment (NHE), the purposes of the HELP grant program are two-fold:

  • “to encourage academic institutions to provide/develop programs of study in residential construction that respond not only to current issues affecting the home building industry but also provide the tools and skill sets needed by graduates to anticipate and prepare for the future; and,
  • “to increase the number of qualified college graduates to enter the residential construction industry” (NHE.org).

The OU team, which also includes director of Construction Science and professor Ben Bigelow, professor Suchi Bhattacharjee (Interior Design), and instructor Bryan Bloom (Construction Science), will focus on a number of milestones over the four year period of the HELP grant.

For example, the team will work to create an undergraduate certificate program in entrepreneurship and housing, as well as provide additional education and experience in homebuilding for three faculty members.

The team will also engage OU students, public school students and Home Builders Association members through an annual Open House event related to homebuilding. Graduate student research projects that look at National Association of Homebuilders economics will also be funded, in part, through this grant.

Director Bigelow commented, “This grant is a great opportunity for OU to elevate what it does with housing, and particularly in educating the next small business owners in homebuilding, development, real estate, and design.”

For more information, please contact Somik Ghosh (somik.ghosh-1@ou.edu).