NAHMA Announces 2013 National Communities of Quality® Award Winners
Outstanding Affordable Housing Communities Honored for 21st Year
January 9, 2014, Alexandria, Va. – For the 21st consecutive year of its Communities of Quality® (COQ) Awards program, the National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) is honoring the best multifamily affordable housing communities across the country for excellence in how they manage the physical, financial and social conditions of their 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.
The 2013 COQ awards will be presented at NAHMA’s annual winter meeting, March 9-11, 2014, in Washington, D.C. Visit the NAHMA Meetings page for details.
“The 80-plus entrants and the award winners in our Communities of Quality® Awards program prove that affordable housing is a valuable asset to the larger community,” said Gianna Solari, NAHP-e, president of NAHMA. “The competition for these awards demonstrates the degree to which affordable housing providers value the quality of everything from maintenance of the buildings and grounds to services made available to residents.”
NAHMA’s 2013 COQ Awards program has been jointly sponsored by HD Supply Multifamily Solutions, a leading supplier of maintenance and renovation products to the multi-housing industry, and RealPage, a leading provider of on-demand products and services for the rental housing industry.
The five 2013 COQ categories and winners are:
EXEMPLARY DEVELOPMENT FOR THE ELDERLY
Owner: Wollaston-Quincy, L.P.
Management: Housing Management Resources
Wollaston Manor, home to 170 senior and disabled residents, is a 10-story high-rise built in 1974. It recently underwent a $1.5 million upgrade that included renovating interior and exterior areas, common spaces, and the building’s heating and air conditioning systems. Individual units were given new kitchen installations, including cabinets, countertops, custom wall surfaces, energy- efficient appliances and flooring. Common areas received new carpeting or plank flooring, custom wall surfaces and paint. The cost of unit upgrades was more than $600,000. In addition, a $275,000 weatherization project was completed on the south, west and east sides of the building.
Wollaston Manors’ effective resident programs are led by its outstanding resident services coordinator, who ensures that residents have a high-quality living environment as well as social and physical activities that enhance their health. The resident services coordinator works in conjunction with several local agencies and service providers including participation with MassHousing’s Tenant Assistance Program (TAP). Wollaston Manor also stays connected to family and friends through the Connected Living Program, which provides residents a new computer lab, onsite training, and interactive activities and learning opportunities. A 2013 resident survey confirmed that residents at are delighted with their units, the services they receive and the activities available to them.
EXEMPLARY DEVELOPMENT FOR RESIDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Owner: Unified Property Group
Management: Unified Management Services
Emerald Springs is a jewel in a city known mostly for its blight. It is a new 158-unit community built on a site where a public housing project was razed a decade earlier. The site includes single-family homes, duplexes and townhomes. Green initiatives were used throughout the community, including the installation of energy-efficient appliances. New public streets were developed and bus stops added. Seventy-five of the homes are public housing units, and there are 16 handicapped accessible units. The units come equipped with dishwashers and washers and dryers. Emerald Springs offers amenities no other affordable community in the area has offered. These include a community room that has a computer lab used daily by residents. There is also a media room and an exercise room. Management has partnered with agencies such as ARISE Detroit, Premiere Staffing, Perfecting CDC, Global Educational Excellence’s Katherine White Academy, Gleaners Fresh Food Share program, United Way, the Rotary and Lions clubs, and others to provide a variety of programs and services.
EXEMPLARY FAMILY DEVELOPMENT
Pynchon Edgewater Apartments
Owner: Collins Nickas
Management: Peabody Properties, Inc.
Pynchon Edgewater Apartments is a 612-unit property comprising 51 apartments and townhomes and one high-rise building. Units range in size from one to four bedrooms. The property is spread over five city blocks commingled with privately owned single-family homes in an urban setting. Schools, parks, shopping and Interstate 91 are just minutes away. Because its neighborhood experiences drug dealing, gang violence and other violent crimes, property management and residents spearheaded an initiative to address security both on and near the property. There is an active tenant association, a youth program, Tenant Assistant Programs (TAP) offered through MassHousing, and numerous entertainment, educational and health-related programs. Seniors and adult residents with disabilities also have access to Peabody Resident Services, Inc.’s Home Care program, which helps residents remain in their homes as long as possible, providing assistance with activities of daily living. Crime is statistically down by 68 percent and is directly linked to the 60-plus community partnerships that address safety, education, health care, and social services. The site has also been a demonstrated incubator of creative model programs for policing, school attendance, youth leadership, health care jobs, and more, with measurable outcomes.
EXEMPLARY SINGLE-ROOM OCCUPANCY
Newport News, VA
Owner: Community Housing Partners
Management: Community Housing Partners
AHMA: Mid-Atlantic AHMA
Built in 1928 as a luxury hotel, The Warwick was once the center of downtown activity before going into decline in the 1980s. In 1995, Community Housing Partners (CHP) acquired the property after years of vacancy and converted it into 88 single-room occupancy (SRO) affordable, permanent, supportive units for previously homeless individuals. CHP completed a comprehensive rehabilitation of The Warwick in July 2013. The rehab included a new roof, updated plumbing, new windows, HVAC upgrades and a variety of energy-efficiency improvements resulting in an EarthCraft Virginia™ certification and a 50-percent increase in energy efficiency. The rehab also included improved accommodations for CHP’s property management and resident services programming with newly designed offices, a rehabilitated community room, and a new community kitchen. Services provided within these facilities include nutritional education, health screenings, mental health services, Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous meetings, employment services, case management, and family support. The 88 residents of The Warwick are all formerly homeless individuals, 97 percent of whom live at or below 30 percent of area median income. These individuals are greatly aided by the case management and support services offered by staff and partners.
OUTSTANDING TURNAROUND OF A TROUBLED PROPERTY
Owner: Philipsburg UAW Housing Corp.
Management: Community Realty Management
AHMA: PennDel AHMA
Hillcrest Commons, formerly known as Sunnyslope Apartments, is located in the rural area of Philipsburg, Pa. When Community Realty Management took over the troubled property in April 2006, the occupancy rate was 80 percent and delinquencies were more than 64 percent. Management immediately tackled the issue of drug activity in the community with the aid of police. Major capital improvements were made possible through mark-up-to-market funding that enabled improvements costing $445,000 over the last seven years. This included replacing siding, replacing roofs and windows, resurfacing all hardscapes, and renovating the interiors of both units and common areas. Management also revamped its internal controls after conducting an exhaustive audit of files and systems. Onsite staff received extensive training so that they could become familiar with the wide gamut of HUD regulations. Success is demonstrated by receipt of a superior rating in a May 2011 review. Property staff provides a positive environment for residents that includes educational, literacy and other programs and has built a strong partnership with outside agencies to provide additional services.
NAHMA is the leading voice for affordable housing management, advocating on behalf of multifamily property managers and owners whose mission is to provide quality affordable housing. NAHMA supports legislative and regulatory policy that promotes the development and preservation of decent and safe affordable housing, is a vital resource for technical education and information, fosters strategic relations between government and industry and recognizes those who exemplify the best in affordable housing. Founded in 1990, NAHMA’s membership today includes the industry’s most distinguished multifamily owners and management companies.
About HD Supply Multifamily Solutions
With 22,000+ items and free, next-day delivery on most items to most areas, HD Supply Multifamily Solutions is the source for maintenance supplies, fabrication, installation, and renovation services. Its 500+ account representatives serve more than 130 markets, providing personalized service backed by the strength of a national company. To order call 1-800-431-3000 or at www.hdsupplysolutions.com.
RealPage provides on-demand solutions that enable owners and managers of single-family and a wide variety of multifamily rental property types, including conventional, affordable, privatized military, student and senior housing, to manage their marketing, pricing, screening, leasing, accounting, purchasing and other property operations. For more information, visit www.realpage.com.