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CHICAGO (November 6, 2013) — The Urban Land Institute (ULI) Terwilliger Center for Housing has announced the winners of this year’s housing awards programs. Winners for both the Jack Kemp Workforce Housing Models of Excellence Awards and the Robert C. Larson Workforce Housing Public Policy Awards, selected by the ULI Terwilliger Center’s national advisory board, were honored at ULI’s Fall Meeting in Chicago.
Masonvale in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Fairfax County, Va., and Yarmouth Way in Boulder, Colo. were both recipients of the 2013 Jack Kemp Models of Excellence Award. In addition, the Robert C. Larson Workforce Housing Public Policy Award recipients were Baltimore, Md., the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and Park City, Utah.
The Jack Kemp Awards, named in memory of former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary and ULI Terwilliger Center national advisory board member, Jack Kemp, are given to workforce housing developments that represent outstanding achievements in several areas, including affordability, innovative financing and building technologies, proximity to employment centers and transportation hubs, quality of design, involvement of public-private partnerships, and replicability of the development, among other criteria.
According to ULI Terwilliger Center Executive Director, Lynn M. Ross, this year’s Kemp Award winners illustrate the importance of expanding workforce housing options in locations that are well-served by transit and near major employment centers. “The attention to architectural detail, environmental considerations, and site design demonstrate that pursuing affordability doesn’t mean sacrificing quality,” she added.
The 2013 Jack Kemp Models of Excellence winners are:
- Masonvale, developed by Mason Housing, Inc., is an employer-assisted housing development of 156 workforce rental units on the eastern edge of the George Mason University (GMU) campus. Located in a region known for its high cost of living, the university considered how to address its need for workforce housing options. GMU donated land for the development of Masonvale, which provides conveniently-located, high-quality housing at below-market rents. Units are limited to faculty, staff, and full-time graduate students at GMU and employees of the City of Fairfax and Fairfax County, with priority for new faculty. Particularly notable for this project is distinct architectural character of the colonial and craftsman home styles as well as the overall community design which was managed by Torti Gallas and Partners.
- Yarmouth Way is a mixed-income residential development with 25 single-family units on 1.82 acres—located in a city with one of the highest housing costs per capita in the United States. Positioned at the southern end of the Holiday Neighborhood, the project was developed by 4655 Yarmouth, LLC, a partnership between Thistle Communities, a nonprofit developer, and Allison Management, a for-profit developer. Yarmouth Way offers three- and four-bedroom family-oriented workforce units in a city where most permanently affordable units are only one- or two-bedrooms. Ten of the townhomes and single-family homes at Yarmouth Way are affordable to families earning between 69 to 109 percent of the area median income (AMI). Yarmouth’s unique site design includes a central laneway that offers a common gathering space for residents and encourages neighborly interaction. Yarmouth Way demonstrates what can be accomplished when resourceful public-private partnerships cooperate to meet civic goals.
In addition to the two Jack Kemp Award winners, the ULI Terwilliger Center recognized one finalist: Lofts at Reynoldstown Crossing, located in Atlanta, Ga., is an adaptive reuse residential development located on a 1.8 acre site within the Atlanta BeltLine revitalization effort. The goal of Lofts at Reynoldstown Crossing is to help stabilize the surrounding neighborhood while helping to address Atlanta’s housing affordability challenge.
The Robert C. Larson Workforce Housing Public Policy Awards are given to exemplary state or local governments that provide ongoing and sustainable support for the production, rehabilitation or preservation of workforce housing. It is named in memory of ULI leader Robert C. Larson, a longtime ULI trustee, former ULI Foundation chairman and a member of the ULI Terwilliger Center national advisory board. Policy programs are judged on a number of factors, including impact on the supply of workforce housing, comprehensiveness of the tools and programs employed, involvement of public-private partnerships, and the ability to leverage private and nonprofit funds, among other criteria.
“On the surface, the three recipients of the 2013 Larson Awards appear to be very different—a strong market state, a weak market older industrial city, and a resort community,” said Ross. “However, each recipient not only demonstrates the value and effectiveness of having a comprehensive suite of housing policy tools that are responsive to market challenges, but they also create a clear vision for expanding housing affordability.”
The 2013 Robert C. Larson Workforce Housing Public Policy Awards winners (program in parentheses):
- Baltimore Housing, Baltimore, Md. (Vacants to Value Program) – After losing nearly a third of its population since the 1950s, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake launched the Vacants to Value program to help attract 10,000 new residents. The program, managed by Baltimore Housing, has leveraged millions of dollars in private capital and worked across city agencies to transform vacant housing stock into workforce housing. Vacants to Value uses streamlines processes; receivership auctions; enhanced code enforcement; interagency partnerships that target public safety and infrastructure issues in transitioning neighborhoods; and homeownership incentives in the form of down payment and closing cost assistance targeted to buyers of previously vacant workforce housing. As of June 2013, Vacants to Value has created 350 workforce housing units, with another 175 the process of being rehabilitated. The program is an important example of how a city can partner with major employers and the development community to attract new homebuyers, and revitalize some of Baltimore’s most distressed neighborhoods.
- Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Comprehensive Policy Tools for Workforce Housing Development) - The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is among the most competitive real estate markets in the United States. In response, Massachusetts has developed a proactive, comprehensive set of tools to increase affordability including using comprehensive permitting applications to support workforce housing units in mixed income projects. Together, these efforts have supported the creation of over 4,000 workforce housing units since 2007. In November 2012, Governor Deval Patrick announced a statewide goal of producing 10,000 multi-family units annually through 2020 under the Commonwealth’s “Housing that Works” initiative. This goal seeks to communicate clearly to municipalities, developers, employers, and the public that the Commonwealth is serious about increasing housing affordability for moderate income households, particularly in locations near transit, town centers and employment.
- Park City Municipal Corporation, Park City, Utah (Creating Workforce Housing Choices in a Resort Community) – Park City, Utah is a resort community widely known for its world-class skiing and outdoor recreation as well as international events such as the 2002 Winter Olympics and the annual Sundance Film Festival. The city has 7,558 permanent residents among a seasonal population of nearly 50,000. Aiming to reduce the burden on local businesses created by high seasonal job turnover, Park City has supported the creation of workforce housing by providing financial incentives including grants, land donation and fee waivers. The city has coupled these efforts with an inclusionary housing ordinance, homebuyer assistance and rental programs for municipal employees to create and maintain workforce housing opportunities and a more sustainable community. Today, there are 485 deed-restricted affordable housing units in Park City, amounting to 16 percent of year-round occupied housing stock. These units are 80 percent rental and 20 percent owner-occupied, serving households that range from 35 to 105 percent AMI. One-third of these units are considered workforce housing, serving households earning above 60 percent AMI.
For next year’s cycle, the ULI Terwilliger Center will expand the range of affordability for both awards programs. The expanding categories will allow for developments and public policies that create affordable and workforce opportunities for individuals and families earning up to120 percent AMI. Additionally, in the 2014 cycle, affordable housing developments using LIHTC will be eligible and the national advisory board will place an emphasis on developments and policies that support a mix of incomes.
NOTE TO REPORTERS AND EDITORS: Courtesy images of the Jack Kemp Award and Robert C. Larson Award winners are provided by ULI for use by legitimate members of the press and media only. For more details on the award and previous winners, visit the Housing Awards webpage.
About the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing
The ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing was established in 2007 with a $5 million endowment to ULI from former ULI Chairman J. Ronald Terwilliger, chairman emeritus of Trammell Crow Residential and chairman of the ULI Terwilliger Center. The mission of the Center is to expand housing opportunity by leveraging the private sector and other partners to create and sustain mixed-income, mixed-use urban and suburban neighborhoods that incorporate a full spectrum of housing choices including workforce housing.
About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute (uli.org) is a global nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has more than 30,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.