Innovation On Many Levels: ULI Announces Winners of 2012 Jack Kemp Workforce Housing Models of Excellence Awards and 2012 Robert C. Larson Workforce Housing Public Policy Awards

For more information, contact: Robert Krueger at 202-624-7051

DENVER (October 19, 2012) – This year’s winners of both the Jack Kemp Workforce Housing Models of Excellence Awards and the Robert C. Larson Workforce Housing Public Policy Awards were announced today by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Terwilliger Center for Housing. The winners – which embody exemplary achievements in workforce housing by the development community and public policy makers – were honored during a ceremony at ULI’s Fall Meeting in Denver.

The three recipients of the 2012 Jack Kemp Awards include: The Century Building in Pittsburgh, Pa., Rhode Island Row in Washington, D.C., and Via Verde in New York, N.Y. In addition, both the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s New Housing Marketplace Plan and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency’s CHOICES in Homeownership Program were recipients of the Robert C. Larson Workforce Housing Public Policy Award.

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 Jack Kemp, are given to workforce housing developments that represent outstanding achievements in several areas, including innovative financing, unique construction methodologies, strong public/private partnerships, and replicability to achieve workforce housing affordability.

According to ULI Terwilliger Center National Advisory Board member Dara Kovel, chief housing officer at the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, this year’s Jack Kemp Awards winners represent the entire spectrum of housing types and needs. “The winners of the Jack Kemp Awards demonstrate that workforce housing comes in many shapes and sizes, creating innovation on many levels including urban redevelopment, green and sustainable practices, and the reuse of existing buildings,” Kovel said.

The 2012 Jack Kemp Models of Excellence Awards winners:

  • The Century Building, developed by TREK Development Group, is a former office building in downtown Pittsburgh’s cultural district that has been transformed into a mixed-use, mixed-income property consisting of 19,742 square feet of commercial space and 60 rental apartments: 28 affordable units, and 32 workforce units. TREK partnered with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the Heinz Endowment, the RK Mellon Foundation, the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development to make The Century Building a reality. The large funding commitments and the City’s emphasis on green design allowed for an impressive combination of historic preservation and environmental efficiency, all within a thriving arts district proximate to transit and employment centers. The project not only provides affordable and workforce housing for Pittsburgh’s young professionals, but helps to ensure that downtown neighborhoods remain vibrant and accessible. TREK Development’s extensive partnerships with philanthropic, private and nonprofit organizations, illustrates the breadth of community support for this project.
  • Rhode Island Row, developed through a joint venture between A&R Development Corp and Urban Atlantic that worked closely with District of Columbia agencies to transform an underutilized parking lot into a 330 unit, mixed-use development immediately proximate to the Rhode Island Avenue Metro Station and only two miles from the entertainment and employment opportunities in downtown Washington, D.C. Development planning began before housing crisis and the developer, as well as its public partners—WMATA, the District of Columbia, and HUD, worked together to form a creative financing solution and keep the project afloat when the real estate market imploded. A sophisticated finance structure including the FHA 220 program, New Market Tax Credits, and the monetization of future tax benefits to the District of Columbia, allowed RI Station, LLC to reserve 55 of the 330 units for households under 50% while the remaining units were priced to be affordable to households earning between 75-120% AMI. Rhode Island Row is unique in that the developer worked closely with the existing community to create a building that met long-time residents’ needs and desires, while bringing much needed private investment to the neighborhood.
  • Via Verde, co-developed by Phipps Houses and Jonathan Rose Companies, is a 20-story mixed-use mixed-income building located in the Bronx. Via Verde was the winning response to the New Housing New York Legacy Competition, and per the premise of the competition, was developed as the next generation of green, affordable housing. The 296,000 square feet building contains 71 middle income co-ops and 151 low-income rentals, as well as 5,500 square feet of ground floor community facility leased to Montefiore Medical Center, and 2,000 square feet of neighborhood retail. Built as part of the city’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, with support from the NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC), NYS Affordable Housing Corporation (AHC), and NYS Housing and Community Renewal (HCR), the building includes 71 coops affordable to households earning 80%-100% of AMI, and 151 low-income rental units affordable to households at or below 60% of AMI.

In addition to the three Jack Kemp Awards winners, the ULI Terwilliger Center recognized two finalists. The first project, Beckstoffer’s Mill Loft Apartment, is located in Richmond, Va.’s historic neighborhood of Church Hill. The project, made up of 22 high-quality, energy-efficient apartments, is an adaptive-reuse of a historic lumber mill by Better Housing Coalition (BHC), a non-profit community development corporation. The second finalist, The Balton, is a project located in New York, N.Y. and developed by The Richman Group, also developed under the city’s New Housing Marketplace Plan. The 156-unit project consists of two wings of six and twelve stories, separated by a private courtyard.

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.

The 2012 Robert C. Larson Workforce Housing Public Policy Awards winners (program in parentheses):

  • New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (New Housing Marketplace Plan) – Extremely high demand for city living has resulted in a housing crisis, with moderate income households unable to find affordable housing within the City. Despite population growth, there has been a significant amount of domestic out-migration, including working families leaving to find more affordable housing in suburban New York counties, as well as New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg responded to this workforce migration with the New Housing Marketplace Plan in 2003, which encourages “building where the jobs are.” Since 2003, a consortium of city agencies has worked together to create a wide range of affordable housing development tools geared to address the needs of households with a range of incomes. For families earning between 60% and 120% of AMI, this effort has resulted in $4.4 billion in committed direct subsidy to support of the development of creating or preserving more than 130,000 units of affordable housing, including nearly 75,000 units of workforce housing starts, the largest municipal housing effort in the nation’s history. Under the New Housing Marketplace Plan, the New York City Housing Development Corporation consistently outperforms many of the nation’s largest banks in the volume and dollar amount of affordable multi-family housing bonds issued, and its incredibly successful efforts are certainly worthy of replication elsewhere.
  • New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (CHOICES in Homeownership Program) – In the mid-1990’s HMFA conducted focus groups with committees of private developers and banks to determine how market conditions and new, market-rate development, could be improved and increased in NJ’s distressed housing markets. Through collaboration the parties agreed on a comprehensive strategy that would ensure predictability and diminish lenders’ fear of risk through the implementation of a single family construction loan program known as CHOICES in Homeownership. The CHOICE program provides construction loan and subsidy funding to build new housing, not only in places where people want to live, but also where the cost to build homes is more than that for which they can be sold. Over the past 15 years, the program has been responsible for the development of over 4,000 workforce housing units. One hundred percent of the homes produced as a result of the CHOICE program are affordable to workforce households.

According to Alazne (Ali) Solis, senior vice president at Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., the two recipients of the Robert Larson Awards are outstanding examples of how local governments can partner with both the private and philanthropic sectors in order to advance workforce housing projects. “The U.S. is at a critical time when the role of state and local governments are becoming more important to helping us ensure that we can meet the growing workforce and affordable housing needs in our country and the winning projects are models of this innovation, ” Solis said.

NOTE TO REPORTERS: Photos of the 2012 Jack Kemp Models of Excellence Awards and Robert C. Larson Workforce Housing Public Policy Awards winners are available for download.

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 Terwillliger 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 sustaining and creating thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has nearly 30,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.