Four Developments Receive NAHMA Communities of Quality Top Honors
The National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) announces four communities were selected as the 2016 winners of its annual Communities of Quality® (COQ) Awards program. Since 1992, these awards have honored the best multifamily affordable housing communities across the country.
Entrants are judged on how they manage the physical, financial and social conditions of their properties, and on how well they convey their success in offering the highest quality of life for their residents.
The 2016 COQ Awards will be presented at NAHMA’s annual winter meeting, March 5-7, in Washington, D.C. For details on the NAHMA meeting, visit https://www.nahma.org/meetings/.
“This year, we had 30 entrants proving that the Communities of Quality Awards program continues to thrive and to be a point of pride for all the contenders,” NAHMA Executive Director Kris Cook, CAE, said. “There is no other award that focuses so comprehensively on the everyday life and management expertise of affordable housing properties.”
NAHMA’s 2016 COQ Awards program is jointly sponsored by HD Supply Multifamily Solutions, a leading supplier of maintenance and renovation products to the multihousing industry, and Navigate Affordable Housing Partners, a leading provider of consulting and development services to public housing authorities and HUD’s Section 8 PBCA for Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia and Connecticut.
NAHMA congratulates the four winners.
- Exemplary Family Development: Forest Green Apartments, Gainesville, Fla.; Owner: GHC Housing Partners; Management: PK Management LLC; AHMA: SAHMA
- Exemplary Development for the Elderly: Broadway Terrace Apartments, Phoenix, Ariz.; Owner: Broadway Towers Inc. DBA Broadway Terrace; Management Company: Mansermar Inc.; AHMA: AHMA-PSW
- Exemplary Development for Residents with Special Needs: Bridgeway Apartments Phase 1 & 2, Picayune, Miss.; Owner: St. Francis Academy; Management Company: The Columbia Property Group; AHMA: SAHMA
- Outstanding Turnaround of a Troubled Property: EME Apartments of Conway, Conway, S.C.; Owner: Emanuel-Morris Brown-Ebenezer Apartments Inc.; Management Company: Southern Development Management Company; AHMA: SAHMA
About HD Supply Multifamily Solutions
With 50,000-plus items and free, next-day delivery on most items to most areas, HD Supply Multifamily Solutions is your source for maintenance supplies, fabrication, installation and renovation services. Our 700-plus account representatives serve more than 130 markets, providing personalized service backed by the strength of a national company. For more information visit, hdsupplysolutions.com.
About Navigate Affordable Housing Partners
Based in Birmingham, Ala., Navigate Affordable Housing Partners is HUD’s Section 8 PBCA for Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia and Connecticut. With a strong reputation for customer service and training, Navigate oversees a portfolio of more than 70,000 units. Navigate has a history of developing, owning and managing HUD assisted properties in Alabama and has recently begun providing consulting and development services to public housing authorities. For further information, visit navigatehousing.com.
A brief summary of the award-winning developments follows.
Forest Green Apartments
Forest Green is a Section 8 family property with 200 units and more than 400 residents—including adults, children, seniors and residents with disabilities—located in Gainesville, Florida. The community has embraced PK Management’s philosophy that properties are not just brick and mortar, but a place to call home. In doing so, Forest Green conveys a good neighbor feeling and a great sense of community.
Forest Green strives to assist residents improve their quality of life through programming that aids in overcoming such problems as career path barriers, budget misfortunes, neglected health, nutritional deficiencies, parenting problems, crime victimization and educational setbacks. This is accomplished through on-site programs such as computer labs, after-school tutoring, adult self-sufficiency classes, health programs and more.
Additionally, an on-site service coordinator acts as a liaison between the residents and other community organizations as well as mediates issues between residents and staff.
Forest Green has forged a partnership with the local police department, which has helped the community become proactive about combating crime. Three community resource officers are assigned to Forest Green allowing relationships to build between the police officers and residents. The officers also coordinate on-site programs for children and adults including Safety Week educational programs and National Night Out.
Another partnership, this one with Upper Room Ministries and the University of Florida, allows children to receive extra help with math and reading after school. The mentors help the students overcome test anxiety and reinforce proper classroom behavior besides aiding with homework.
A unique feature of the property is the Security Center that is outfitted with a state-of-the-art camera and monitoring system. The center is clearly and vibrantly marked, which has proven to be an effective crime deterrent.
The maintenance team has created a preventative maintenance plan as well as a reactionary maintenance plan and maintains the complex around the clock. Work orders are kept up-to-date and there is a travelling maintenance team that can be dispatched to respond to an emergency any time of the day.
Broadway Terrace Apartments
Broadway Terrace, located in Phoenix, Arizona, is a 100-unit modern apartment complex constructed with assistance from HUD and is designed for adults who are at least 62 years old.
Broadway Terrace has found it necessary to bridge the gap between its independent-living seniors and those who have aged in place, and the wealth of services that are available in the community.
To meet the needs of residents beyond simply providing housing, the complex collaborates with several local organizations to provide food delivery, free personal hygiene products, technology education, health and wellness services and other activities.
Broadway Terrace has received the Gregory Foundation’s Leadership & Innovation Award for its efforts to promote healthy living. Additionally, the community’s first centenarian, Clara Bloom, was recognized with honors at the 2015 Senior Awards luncheon where she was presented with a Governor’s Certificate for her contributions over a century of excellence.
The community hosts an annual holiday party, in conjunction with local companies and through donations, complete with a catered dinner and gifts for the residents that range from Roku sticks to pet goodie bags.
Additionally, the Duet Agency has provided Broadway Terrace with a machine that allows the user to magnify materials to more than 100 times its original size and projects it onto a 17-inch LCD display to assist residents that have difficulty seeing.
Arizona State University’s foster grandparents volunteer program engages residents by having them read to at-risk children in surrounding schools.
Another partnership, in cooperation with JobCorps, provides multigenerational interaction through a student internship program. The students assist residents one-on-one with their newly acquired technology, such as laptops, smartphones and tablets, ranging from setting up email to navigating Google searches to connecting with family and friends on social media—all while providing residents basic knowledge about the apps and programs on their devices. In exchange, the students get to shadow the leasing office staff and learn about a business office environment.
Broadway Terrace has made improvements to the interior of the apartment homes including new flooring, upgraded cabinets, raised toilets and a flat-screen “smart” television in the community room complete with DVD player, satellite service and a Wii console and games.
Bridgeway Apartments Phase 1 and 2
The Bridgeway Apartments are in Picayune, Mississippi, and provide supervised living and employment services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The two low-rise, garden-style phases consist of a total of 24 fully equipped units, an exercise room, laundry facilities, recreational spaces and well-maintained grounds. Bridgeway Apartments enjoy a REAC score of 90 percent or above. The replacement reserves are fully funded and the rents are 100 percent paid each month.
The property’s staff members assist residents with medication management, job discovery, exercise and wellness, community volunteering and more.
The residents have their own units that they are responsible for maintaining, which provides independence while knowing on-site staff is there should the need for help arise. Many of Bridgeway’s staff are long-term employees, which makes the residents comfortable with them and promotes a willingness to ask for assistance, if needed.
Many of the residents have been there for at least five years, with most moving in 19 years ago when the property opened. The residents and their family members have written letters about how much they are thankful and appreciative for these properties and the programs that are in place, and how phenomenal the staff is with their loved ones.
All of the residents, except for one retiree, have jobs doing routine janitorial services with local shops and companies ranging from pizza parlors and bakeries to the fire department and chamber of commerce. Most residents have retained the same jobs for several years. Staff provides the transportation to the job sites and any on-the-job assistance that might be needed.
When not working, the residents also enjoy activities such as bowling, visiting the local swimming park, dancing, attending a Biloxi Shuckers minor league baseball game, volunteering and participating in Special Olympics.
EME Apartments of Conway
EME Apartments of Conway, formerly Cherry Hill Apartments, is a 50-unit nonprofit with a 100 percent Loan Management Set-Aside Section 8 contract. Originally built in 1969, the property deteriorated to the point that it was placed on HUD’s troubled watch list. With REAC scores twice below 60 and with less than 50 percent occupancy, the property was being considered for foreclosure. The original sponsors explored refinancing and HUD’s Mark to Market program; however, with the extensive needed repairs estimated at more than 3 million dollars and a small balance still owed on the original loan along with an outstanding flexible subsidy loan, the numbers just wouldn’t work.
Then in early 2007, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the City of Conway Police Department and the Horry County Sheriff’s Department launched a joint operation that resulted in the arrest of 82 individuals at or near the property, which had become overrun with drugs, gang violence and loitering. Boarded windows and doors, potholes, vermin and refuse had become commonplace.
Later that same year, the board of Emanuel-Morris Brown-Ebenezer Apartments Inc., a nonprofit board of 40 years located in Charleston, purchased the property. The mission of the board was to provide the citizens in the Conway area a home like the EMBE Apartments of Charleston, which is a NAHMA Communities of Quality property.
Cherry Hill Apartments was renamed, gained new management and through private funding, began a total rehabilitation inside and out. The transformation included replacing the roof and windows, installing vinyl siding and mounting security cameras, along with other cosmetic changes and upgrades. The interior of all the units received a makeover including central HVAC systems and upgrading tubs, water saving devices, toilets, cabinet doors, windows and flooring.
In 2010, the City of Conway presented EME Apartments of Conway with the C.P. Quattlebaum Design Award for “Outstanding Contributions to Quality Development, Restoration, Landscape or Design by an Organization or Individual.” In 2011, a Neighborhood Networks Business Plan was submitted to HUD and soon after, the EME of Conway Neighborhood Network Center became a reality.
Through the center, the property offers after-school programs and homework assistance, computer training for all ages, a summer camp, on-site activities such as music lessons, a bookmobile, health fairs, adult work study and more. In 2015, EME Apartments was named Best Housing Development by the South Carolina State Housing and Finance Authority.
Past Award Winners:
® Communities of Quality is Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Disclaimer: Properties that meet the COQ National Recognition criteria may hold themselves forth to the public as such. However, NAHMA and the AHMAs do not assume and hereby disclaim any and all liability to any person or entity for any claims, damages, liability or other loss including, without limitation, any liability for injury or other damage resulting from any use of or reliance on the information provided through the COQ National Recognition and Awards Program. NAHMA and the AHMAs do not make any express or implied warranties, representations or endorsements whatsoever, or in any way, regarding the properties listed as COQ National Recognition or Award Winners.