Thirty-six developments from across the country have been selected as finalists for this year’s AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards.
They range from a 10-unit development for women escaping domestic violence in Coos Bay, Ore., to a massive 1,075-unit acquisition-rehabilitation effort that spans several Columbus, Ohio, neighborhoods.
These developments illustrate the diversity and quality of affordable housing being built today. They are home to working families, formerly homeless individuals, veterans, disabled people, and frail seniors.
Read about these projects in the following pages and then vote for a winner in each of the nine categories and one overall winner. The winning projects will be highlighted in the November issue.
A formal public presentation of the 2007 Readers’ Choice Awards will take place at an Oct. 26 luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. This event will come at the conclusion of AHF Live: The 2007 Tax Credit Developers’ Summit.
This is the third year for the awards, and the competition was stiff. There were nearly 150 nominations that came in from all corners of the country. As a result, many outstanding developments could not be selected.
In the end, this year’s finalists are from 16 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
They show the creative and varied approaches that developers must take to get their projects built.
The emergence of green-building techniques was a big trend seen in many of the nominated developments this year. One finalist is Solara, a pioneering development in Poway, Calif., that draws all of its electricity from the sun. Another finalist, Near North Apartments in Chicago, has wind turbines on the roof to help produce electricity for the building.
Many of the developments feature not only innovative design but also new collaborations. The Mission Creek Senior Community in San Francisco features the city’s first new branch library in 40 years. Seniors on Broadway in Chula Vista, Calif., is built on surplus school property. Its location next to an elementary school will allow the students and the elderly residents of the housing development to take part in intergenerational activities. Several finalists are important catalysts for improving their entire neighborhoods.
The finalists were selected by the editors of AHF, with assistance from several industry experts. The developments were selected based on our assessment of several key characteristics, including:
- Impact on the community by adding substantially to the affordable housing stock or improving the immediate social or economic fabric
- Role in overall community revitalization or social change
- Sets a new standard or pioneers a new method (taps new funding
- sources; demonstrates new efficiency in capital costs and/or maintenance/operating costs, etc.)
- Employs cost-effective or innovative design and/or construction, including energy efficiency and sustainable development
- Offers outstanding social services for tenants
- Received broad community support, including state and local government financial assistance
- Addresses a unique challenge
- Demonstrates creative problem solving
- Evidence of cost-effectiveness
To be eligible, developments had to have been completed in 2006 or scheduled for completion this year. Multiphase projects with a phase being completed during this period were also eligible.
Finalists by Category
- MORGAN WOODS
- PLYMOUTH MANOR & CARLSON COMMONS
- SARA CONNER COURT
HISTORIC REHAB FINALISTS
- ALLENTOWN CENTER SQUARE SENIOR HOUSING
- MAESER SCHOOL APARTMENTS
- MIDTOWN EXCHANGE APARTMENTS
- THE RESIDENCES AT WILEY H. BATES HERITAGE PARK
- LINTON HALL MANOR
- MIDTOWN EXCHANGE CONDOS ON THE GREENWAY
- THE VILLAGE OF EASTLAKE
- FAIRBANKS RIDGE APARTMENTS
- HENSON RIDGE
- NEW COLUMBIA
- COMMUNITY PROPERTIES REVITALIZATION
- HAZEL HILL APARTMENTS
- LORD TENNYSON APARTMENTS
- SECOND EAST HILLS
- BELLEVUE VILLAGE APARTMENTS
- HENNER APARTMENTS
- RURAL HOUSING & DEVELOPMENT
- VIKING TERRACE APARTMENTS
- ARTHUR CAPPER SENIOR APARTMENTS
- ELDERSPIRIT COMMUNITY
- THE PARKVIEW
- SENIORS ON BROADWAY
- BRIGGSDALE APARTMENTS
- CODDINGTON PLACE
- NEAR NORTH APARTMENTS
- VETERANS & COMMUNITY HOUSING
- 1212 MLK APARTMENTS
- FAISON MEWS
- FLORENCE SQUARE
- MISSION CREEK SENIOR COMMUNITY
- PARK EAST ENTERPRISES LOFTS
Help chose the best affordable housing developments. Fill out the online ballot to let us know which project you think is the most deserving in each category and which should be the overall winner. The deadline to vote is Aug. 24.
NOTE: Voting is open only to AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE subscribers.