NAHMA Names Top Communities of Quality for 2018

HDS_multifamilysolutions_4C_pos Navigate

 National Sponsors of NAHMA’s 2018 Communities of Quality® Awards Program

The National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) announces four communities were selected as the 2018 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 2018 COQ Awards will be presented at NAHMA’s Biannual Top Issues in Affordable Housing winter conference, March 3-5, in Washington, D.C. For details on the NAHMA meeting, visit

“There is no other award that focuses so comprehensively on the everyday life and management expertise of affordable housing properties,” NAHMA Executive Director Kris Cook, CAE, said.

NAHMA’s 2018 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 winners. 

  • Exemplary Family Development: Mandela Homes, Boston, Mass.; Owner: Mandela Preservation LLC; Management: Beacon Residential Management; AHMA: NEAHMA
  • Exemplary Development for the Elderly: Saint Matthew Manor, Philadelphia, Penn.; Owner: Saint Matthew Housing Development Inc.; Management Company: Community Realty Management; AHMA: PennDel
  • Exemplary Development for Residents with Special Needs: Marlkress Commons, Cherry Hill, N.J.; Owner: New Jersey Affordable Housing Preservation; Management Company: PRD Management Inc.; AHMA: JAHMA
  • Outstanding Turnaround of a Troubled Property: Atlantic Apartment Homes, Washington, D.C.; Owner: WinnCompanies; Management Company: WinnResidential; AHMA: Mid-Atlantic AHMA

A brief summary of the award-winning developments follows. 

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,

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

Mandela Homes

Exemplary Family Development

Mandela Homes, Boston, Mass.

Owner: Mandela Preservation LLC Management:

Beacon Residential Management


Mandela Homes is a 276-unit affordable apartment community located in the heart of Boston’s Lower Roxbury neighborhood. It is financed by the federal Low-income Tax Credit program, other soft funding and Project-Based Section 8. All the apartments are rent restricted by the Tax Credit Regulatory Agreement.

The community is nestled in a thriving and changing area of Boston that has been faced with multiple challenges as the neighborhood strives to maintain affordable housing for households and offer new opportunities for its residents to obtain needed community services.

Financially, Mandela is on solid footing, with an occupancy rate of 99 percent, while receivables are under 2 percent. Although the resident receivables are low, to avoid evictions due to nonpayment of rent, Mandela proactively entered into an agreement with HomeStart, a nonprofit agency that provides financial and educational supportive services to stabilize housing.

The high standards that maintenance staff holds themselves to is reflected in the community’s most recent inspections with a Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) score of 99a, a satisfactory Management & Occupancy Review (MOR) and a Spectrum Low Income Tax Credit compliance inspection with no findings.

Of the 1,037 residents at Mandela Homes, 8 percent of the resident population is 55-plus and 16 percent are considered disabled. Most of the residents at the community have very low household incomes.

Many of the residents have been living at Mandela Homes for more than 30 years and have witnessed many changes within the community. Some have experienced violence due to local gang issues and neighborhood drug activity. Some have had their own challenges with substance abuse issues, poverty and family dysfunction.

The property management team at Mandela cares deeply and makes every effort to help residents feel safer within the community, including by contracting with Longwood Security, who works closely with the Boston police, resident services and management to provide after-hours community patrolling of Mandela’s building and grounds, resolving disruptions and reducing criminal activity.

Helping residents to gain and maintain stability, the property management team at Mandela Homes includes resident service coordinators who offer a variety of programming to improve resident quality of life and self-sufficiency.

The coordinators provide residents with direct support to access health care and mental health services, connect residents to community resources, and coordinate educational programs and wellness activities to address issues and improve resident quality of life through a combination of on-site recreational and educational programming for all age groups, as well as referrals to community-based agencies.

Saint Matthew Manor

Exemplary Development for the Elderly

Saint Matthew Manor, Philadelphia, Penn.

Owner: Saint Matthew Housing Development Inc.

Management Company: Community Realty Management

AHMA: PennDel

Saint Matthew Manor is an affordable senior housing community with 58 units, with seven that are for people with disabilities. Built in the 1990s, and located in the Haddington section of West Philadelphia, the community offers maintenance-free living with engaging social programs. Seniors who are looking for peace of mind know they are in a safe and happy environment at Saint Matthew Manor. The community’s continuous 0 percent vacancy demonstrates its commitment of a higher level of customer satisfaction and service to the residents.

In effort to help end homelessness in its community, Saint Matthew Manor requested approval to adopt a homeless veteran through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and established a referred qualified partnering organization in the city of Philadelphia. Letters were sent out to applicants on the community’s waiting list, notifying them that Saint Matthew was adding a preference for persons who have experienced chronic homelessness but who are stable, able to live independently and have various social services as a part of their residency. Management partnered with Project Home and was able to house two homeless veterans.

Additionally, management and the resident social coordinator furnished each apartment fully, including food in the refrigerator and cabinets, bedding, bathroom accessories, dishes, pots, pans, microwaves, radios and televisions in both living room and bedroom.

Saint Matthew resonates a warm, inviting welcome to all that visit or reside there. On-site employees graciously make visitors and new residents feel welcomed and part of the family.

The community has a sizeable list of activities to improve, educate, communicate and embrace the quality of life while increasing a sense of belonging. Programs vary from health-related workshops and initiatives, including flu shots, aging with dignity seminars and health screenings, and well as social and civic activities ranging from an annual resident appreciation barbecue, food sharing program and charity walks, among others. On an ongoing basis, the service coordinator schedules programs according to the needs of the community’s seniors.

Saint Matthew’s staff expects everyone who resides there to feel comfortable, happy and secure as much as possible with all their requests satisfied as they age with dignity at home. The residents are grateful for all the various services and programs available to them on a daily basis.

Staff encourages and empowers its residents to look after one another, support one another and to respect not only their neighbor, but visitors as well. Management and staff strive to create a positive environment that residents appreciate and enjoy. They take pride in the fact that they provide housing with a heart to their most forgotten senior citizens.

Marlkress Commons

Exemplary Development for Residents with Special Needs

Marlkress Commons, Cherry Hill, N.J.

Owner: New Jersey Affordable Housing Preservation

Management Company: PRD Management Inc.


Developed in 1994, Marlkress Commons is proudly sponsored by New Jersey Affordable Housing Preservation, as one of four “barrier-free” Section 202/811 properties it oversees in the state. Marlkress Commons was the second building in South Jersey to serve this special population.

It is a two-story, low-rise 24-unit facility that offers residents a feeling of independence that they cannot experience in a traditional apartment building where their daily needs are not well understood. Home to both elderly residents and residents with disabilities, the building is meticulously maintained, updated and looks as hospitable as it did the day it opened.

As designed, the federally subsidized housing complex features many distinctive amenities to help those with limited mobility live an independent lifestyle. Residents must qualify under the income limits set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the occupancy policy established by the sponsor. Monthly rent is based on the resident’s income in a formula specified by HUD.

The staff takes special care to be sure that the building meets residents’ needs. For instance, staff determined that some areas of the building needed to be reinforced to be more resistant to the inadvertent abuse caused by motorized wheelchairs. Walls and doorways were reinforced with a more substantial material that helps retain its attractive appearance over the long term.

The apartments and common areas feature several amenities designed specifically for the population the community serves such as 36-inch wide doors, raised electrical outlets, lower sinks and cabinets to permit easy access from a wheelchair, roll-in showers with grab bars, raised toilets and grab bars in bathrooms to permit easy transfers, on-site accessible laundry facilities and more.

Marlkress Commons offers amenities that have a direct effect on residents’ quality of life and helps to instill a great sense of pride in their home. The recently expanded community room is a fun gathering place where resident birthday parties, bingo, movie nights, luncheons and holiday gatherings are held. Residents can also reserve this area for private parties.

The residents benefit from a variety of donations from community organizations. For example, Food Distribution Connection delivers food donations every Friday from Whole Foods grocery and Wawa convenience stores.

The residents also enjoy seasonal activities, hosted by staff. For example, they paint pumpkins or create art projects such as painting and handmade dream catchers.

The team at Marlkress Commons has worked hard to develop strong relationships with the community, including emergency management, police department, fire department and local emergency medical technicians.

Marlkress Commons has had an exceptional financial performance with a fully occupied building and balanced budgets over the years thus paving the way for the community to be maintained in an “as new condition.”

Atlantic Apartment Homes

Outstanding Turnaround of a Troubled Property

Atlantic Apartment Homes, Washington, D.C.

Owner: WinnCompanies

Management Company: WinnResidential

AHMA: Mid-Atlantic AHMA

Atlantic Apartment Homes is a Section 8 multifamily community, formerly known as two separate communities: Atlantic Gardens and Atlantic Terrace. The neighboring communities occupy eight acres along Third and Fourth streets in Ward 8, one of the poorest and most crime-ridden sections of Washington, D.C.

The two communities have been owned and managed by WinnCompanies since 1982. Atlantic Gardens, built in 1948 and last renovated in 1982, features 105 apartments within five three-story garden-style buildings.

Atlantic Terrace, built in 1964 and last renovated in 1988, is comprised of 195 units in six three- to four-story garden-style buildings. In 2017, WinnCompanies completed a $69 million occupied rehabilitation of the communities that completely modernized both communities, preserving a total of 303 units as critically needed Project-Based Section 8 housing and expanding programs and services geared toward community building and family support.

Work on the occupied rehab began in October 2015 and was completed in December 2017. Keith Construction was the general contractor and The Architectural Team was the architect.

The development team not only addressed the physical and financial aspects of the two properties, but it also improved the lifestyles of residents who call the Atlantics home.

The staff and community partners are trained in housing stabilization best practices for customer service, resource referrals, housekeeping coaching, eviction mediation, conflict resolution, benefits enrollment and many more areas to ensure residents are stably housed and the Atlantic Apartment Homes can be a platform for opportunity.

The community developed a partnership with the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative and United Planning Organization to create on-site employment development opportunities. Since 2014, this on-site center has helped to connect residents to sustainable living wage jobs and financial health through on-site adult education and training, job readiness and employment preparation, and case management.

In partnership with the United Planning Organization, Hendley Elementary School, Jewel’s New Beginnings, City Gate and the Washington Nationals, Atlantic Apartment Homes helped to grow access to opportunity with affordable early education, after-school and adult education programs.

Through neighborhood partnerships with Congress Heights Arts and Cultural Center, the TraRon Center and many more, the community plays a vital role in advocacy, peer counseling and collective dialogue to take on issues from public safety to building the arts within the community.

In partnership with Children’s Hospital, the Capital Area Food Bank, DC Kitchen, D.C.’s Ward 8 Police Department and others, the community has helped to connect hundreds of residents to health care, health screenings, affordable food and mental health care.

In 2017, the Community Impact Center at Atlantic Apartment Homes opened its doors to provide financial coaching to individuals and families. Since then, it has been able to facilitate access to credit building opportunities, volunteer income tax assistance, and benefits assessments and enrollments to the individuals, families and seniors of the community

Before construction, the apartments at Atlantic Terrace used approximately 30 percent more energy than a typical, code-compliant home. After construction, the apartments at Atlantic Terrace are expected to use 15 percent less energy than a code-compliant home, which means residents will see their energy costs cut nearly in half. The energy burden for Atlantic Terrace and Atlantic Gardens households will be substantially reduced, which will directly benefit residents month after month.

A 651-kilowatt community renewable energy facility on the roof of Atlantic Terrace is the largest system of its kind in D.C. Even more uniquely, the renewable energy produced by the solar-panel system will directly benefit eligible low-income residents of the nation’s capital for free. It is expected to reduce nearly 160 households’ utility bills by $500 per year at no cost to the recipient.

In addition to the solar panels, WinnDevelopment incorporated other energy-efficient and cost-saving features at the property during the 18-month rehabilitation including Energy Star appliances and light fixtures, water conserving toilets and showerhead, programmable thermostats and more.

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.

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.