2012 Awards Mark 20th Year for NAHMA Program
January 16, 2013, Alexandria, Va. – For the 20th consecutive year, the National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) has recognized the best multifamily affordable housing communities across the country for excellence in the way they manage the physical, financial and social conditions of the properties. Winning member sites also are honored for the quality of life they offer residents, the level of resident involvement in community life, their financial stability, the certified quality of their staff, and the nature of collaborations with other organizations and agencies.
This year, there are four Communities of Quality® (COQ) award categories and winners.
Also, for the tenth straight year, the COQ awards are co-sponsored, with NAHMA, by HD Supply™ Multifamily Solutions, a leading supplier of maintenance and renovation products to the multi housing industry.
The 2012 COQ awards will be presented at NAHMA’s annual winter meeting, March 24-26, 2013, in Washington, D.C.
“The COQ award submissions are meant to draw attention to the high quality for which much affordable housing should be known,” said Gianna Solari, NAHP-e, SHCM, President of NAHMA. “From the buildings and grounds to the individual apartments to the programs and services aimed at bettering the lives of residents, these winners exemplify the asset that affordable housing is for thousands of communities across the country.”
“It’s quite an accomplishment to be named a National Community of Quality® Award winner,” said NAHMA Executive Director Kris Cook. “The process is competitive and takes into account not just a property’s structure and appearance, but the quality of its management and staff, finances, compliance scores, and other factors.”
“These award winners are certainly great assets to their surrounding communities,” Solari said.
The 2012 COQ categories and winners are:
EXEMPLARY DEVELOPMENT FOR THE ELDERLY
Owner: Community Outreach Services Corp.
Management: Paragon Management, Inc.
Restoration Towers is a 147-unit, high-rise apartment complex built in 1981 that utilizes both Section 202 and Section 8 subsidies for its elderly and/or physically challenged residents. Situated in the Brightmoor neighborhood, one of Detroit’s most economically challenged regions, Restoration Towers is a pillar of the community, with its beautifully manicured landscape and its critical outreach to the elderly in the neighborhood. Since 1994 Restoration Towers has benefited from HUD’s Congregate Housing Services Program (CHSP), which includes access to transportation, housekeeping and weekend meals, allowing its frail elderly residents to maintain their independence. An onsite service coordinator helps residents secure other needed services (such as home health aides, financial management and general counseling). Restoration Towers has a Neighborhood Network Center, which was upgraded in 2011 thanks to a $304,000 Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant secured by the owner in partnership with the state of Michigan and others. Residents also have access to numerous social activities and health-care services. Outreach to the community is extensive: Restoration Towers provides an additional 300,000 meals for seniors in housing facilities without adequate kitchens and to the Meals on Wheels Programs in several counties for homebound seniors and senior centers. Its Neighborhood Network Center has an extension program that serves entire communities and offers after-school tutoring for youth, as well as inter-generational programs. Restoration Towers is a beacon of hope in an otherwise blighted Detroit neighborhood.
OUTSTANDING TURNAROUND OF A TROUBLED PROPERTY
Riverwood Tower Apartments
Owner: ALCO Management
Management: ALCO Management
Little else can be done to a property to steer it into the right path that has not been done to Riverwood in the past few years.” This sentence in Riverwood Tower’s COQ award essay sums up what has happened to this 33-year-old, once-derelict building since ALCO Management purchased it in 2005. The scope of work for upgrading the 117-unit, mid-rise building included infrastructure improvements, such as new windows, HVAC units, fire-alarm system and security system; cosmetic improvements, to both individual apartments (new carpeting, designer paint colors, wood baseboards) and to the interior and exterior of the building and financial improvements, which saw the vacancy rate rise from 76 percent in 2005 to 100 percent In 2008. To acknowledge the great leaps Riverwood Tower made, ALCO Management honored the property with its 2009 Assisted Property of the Year Award. On the management side, the company added an assistant to the manager, and both individuals have earned CPO and SHCM certifications from NAHMA. They are also active with SAHMA and the Greater Nashville Apartment Association. The many services Riverwood offers to residents are aided by a service coordinator who was acquired through a grant from HUD in 2010. Riverwood Towers is continuing to improve, with new and inventive services and benefits for the residents, the community and its investors.
EXEMPLARY DEVELOPMENT FOR RESIDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
South Sioux City, NE
Owner: Seldin Company
Management: Seldin Company
AHMA: Nebraska & Iowa AHMA
Liberty Place Townhomes boasts a unique design targeted toward several different types of individuals who require psychological and/or emotional assistance, and brings them together as a community. Of its 42 units, 21 are targeted for persons with serious mental illness and/or who have a substance abuse problem. These residents receive medical and psychiatric treatment and benefit from recovery services that aid in their rehabilitation. Liberty Place partners with Heartland Counseling, which offers in-home support services as well as access to other local service providers. The townhomes are built in seven tri-plex units, all accessible and on the main floor, with seven units designed for individuals who may be mobility impaired. Each triplex has three modern apartments and a specious laundry room. There is well-manicured landscaping, a bike path, a community room equipped with a computer and free wi-fi service—all designed to create a safe and welcoming setting for residents with special needs so that they can build community with neighbors, friends and families.
EXEMPLARY FAMILY DEVELOPMENT
Owner: Williamsport Village Associates, LLC
Management: Community Realty Management, Inc.
AHMA: PennDel AHMA
Newberry Estates is a 200-unit, garden-style apartment complex whose unofficial motto is “We Build Community.” To do this, residents benefit from superb property maintenance; exceptional and professional management; expanded resident services; community outreach; and an appreciation of every family who lives there. Its community center and Neighborhood Networks Center provide a hub for a number of programs, including financial literacy classes, tutoring, book clubs, scouting, social events, parenting instruction, family nights and more. Especially positive and impactful is Newberry Estates’ 1-2-3 Playgroup, which teaches young parents how to play and interact with their young children. Newberry Estates’ staff is especially proud to have regularly had a NAHMA scholarship recipient among its residents. Among its unique programs is its annual Hometown Hero Luncheon, which honors local law enforcement and emergency services personnel. They give Newberry Estates the opportunity to showcase both the site and its residents and break down often-negative stereotypes about affordable housing. Local businesses support Newberry Estates by way of monetary donations as well as goods and services. In cooperation with management, Newberry Estates’ residents volunteer to help organize programs and events, staff the library and provide tutoring to children. Such interaction leads to long-term retention rates as well as positive outcomes for residents.