Washington, D.C. – Some of the best affordable housing developers in the country came to Capitol Hill June 7 to receive their prizes at the 12th annual Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Awards.

This year, the Edson Awards judges picked four low-income housing tax credit projects to represent the best in the nation. Each project received a $5,000 grant to bring additional services, facilities, or amenities to these developments to help the tenants who live there.

Winner for Seniors Housing: Victory Tower, Takoma Park, Md.

Victory Tower was one of the first projects to have its rehabilitation paid for by a refinancing of its old Sec. 202 mortgage to allow for a new, larger loan at a lower interest rate, plus an infusion of new equity from the sale of 9 percent low-income housing tax credits. The deal by Victory Housing, Inc., closed in December 2003.

Winner for Metropolitan/Urban Housing: Tierra del Sol, Canoga Park, Calif.

The families that live in the 119 apartments at Tierra del Sol will receive a bevy of services at the project’s 15,000-square-foot community center to help them improve their lives. The site also includes a 44,000-square-foot charter school built by the developer, New Economics for Women, for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Winner for Special Needs Housing: Logan Place, Portland, Maine

Logan Place is a small project that has already had a huge effect on Portland. Before the community opened its 30 supportive housing apartments in March 2005, Portland’s largest homeless shelter exceeded its capacity about 70 percent of the time. “Since we opened, it has never overflowed,” said Dana Totman, president of Avesta Housing, based in Portland.

Winner for Rural Housing: Nantucket Lofts, Kinston, N.C.

The Nantucket Lofts turned an abandoned old mill in the middle of downtown Kinston into new affordable housing, bringing new life to the city. “This is stabilizing a big piece of downtown,” said Jim Sari, CEO for The Landmark Group, based in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Honorable mentions

  • Metropolitan/Urban Housing: Egleston Crossing, Boston; Denny Park Apartments, Seattle; Midtown Exchange Apartments, Minneapolis. n Rural Housing: Orchard Gardens, Missoula, Mont.; Millview, Laconia, N.H.
  • Special Needs Housing: PSS Grand Family Apartments, Bronx, N.Y.; University Neighborhood Apartments, Berkeley, Calif.
  • Senior Housing: Hunter’s Park at Cherrydale, Arlington, Va.; The Residences at Hampstead, Hampstead, Md.