Avenue Place/Avenue Terrace in Houston; Clybourn 1200 in Chicago; Keauhou Lane in Honolulu; Conway Center in Washington, D.C.; and Harbor Place Residences in Haverhill, Massachusetts, were announced as winners of the 2018 Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award. The State of New York Mortgage Finance Agency and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority are joint winners of the 2018 Robert C. Larson Housing Policy Leadership Award.

Terwilliger Center Founder and former ULI chairman J. Ronald Terwilliger, who served as chairman for both award juries, announced the selection of winners. “The Kemp winners are opening up our communities to more people by developing mixed-income communities, and the Larson winners are encouraging mixed-income communities with policies to incentivize such developments,” he said.

The annual Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award recognizes best practices in the development of housing that is affordable to people with a broad range of incomes. Developments eligible for the award are those in which all or a portion of the units are affordable to households earning up to 120 percent of the median income in the areas in which the projects are located. The Robert C. Larson Housing Policy Leadership Award is an annual recognition of innovative ways the public sector is addressing the affordable housing crisis.

“Each year when we go through the award applications, I’m always struck by the complexity involved in seeing these workforce projects developed, or getting these legislative policies in place,” he said. “Providing quality affordable housing is not getting any easier. That’s why I am so proud that over the years we have celebrated nearly 60 winning projects and policies made possible by the ‘housers’ out there. The Kemp winners are opening up our communities to more people by developing mixed-income communities, and the Larson winners are encouraging mixed-income communities with policies to incentivize such developments.”

Selection of the Kemp Award winners is based on 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.

Details on the 2018 Kemp Award winners:

  • Located on 20 acres (8 ha) of former industrial wasteland in Houston, Avenue Place/Avenue Terrace has been developed into new mixed-income housing for 287 new households near public transportation, a walking trail, and a park. The residents now have easy access to a YMCA, public library, and recreation center. The housing’s design and materials incorporate green building practices, promoting health and sustainability and reducing waste.
  • The area around Cabrini-Green in Chicago was once notorious, but Clybourn 1200 is tackling the problem with a mixed-income and mixed-use building that provides residents with affordable housing with sustainability and design in mind. The building has been converted into 26 public housing apartments, 26 affordable housing apartments, and 32 market-rate apartments.
  • While Haverhill, Massachusetts, is being revived with new investment, Harbor Place Residences has revitalized the downtown waterfront. Merrimack Street Ventures, the Planning Office for Urban Affairs, and the Greater Haverhill Foundation have turned 65,000 square feet (6,000 sq m) of unused buildings into affordable and mixed-income housing, and created a new boardwalk, allowing people access to the Merrimack River. In addition, it is within walking distance of the Haverhill Commuter Rail Station.
  • Keauhou Lane in Honolulu is a LEED Platinum Certified mixed-use multifamily design created out of a historically industrial neighborhood that includes 209 workforce housing units. One-fourth of the site, which is designed to be pedestrian-friendly, is dedicated to public open space.
  • The Conway Center, built by So Others Might Eat (SOME), is a public/private partnership located in Washington, D.C.’s Ward 7. SOME offers services such as affordable housing, addiction treatment, job training, and counseling and has developed 202 units of affordable housing on 58,000 square feet (5,400 sq m) of land, which also includes a medical clinic and an employment training center.

Selection of the Larson Award winners is based on factors such as the 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.

Details on the 2018 Larson Award winners:

  • The State of New York Mortgage Finance Agency was selected for its unique approach to assist homeowners at risk of losing their homes. Using a new tool called the Community Restoration Fund (CRF), the agency purchases mortgages on properties believed to be occupied and assists the homeowners by connecting them with nonprofit advocates, who in turn assist them with restructuring their debt. In the event that the homeowner cannot pay the restructured debt, the agency provides transitional support to the families and attempts to resell the property as affordable housing.
  • The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) was recognized for creating an innovative way to ensure that those who use public transportation as their primary means of transportation can afford to live near it. In order to assist in this effort, the agency created the Metro Affordable Transit Connected Housing Program (or MATCH), a public/private lending partnership that seeks to preserve affordable housing near new and existing nodes of transportation. Metro also uses a joint development agreement, which takes advantage of Metro’s ground lease policy. This policy requires that 35 percent of all housing built on Metro-owned land must be affordable to households earning no more than 60 percent of the area median income.

The Kemp Award jury also recognized the Aspen Skiing Company’s Workforce Housing in Aspen, Colorado, with a Chairman’s Award, a special recognition bestowed this year for a creative project designed specifically to address the critical shortage of affordable housing for resort workers in Aspen. While the development did not meet the mixed-income criteria of the Kemp Award, the jury felt it deserved recognition. The Aspen Skiing Company’s development involved transforming a 40-year-old campground into a new housing community. Repurposing old shipping containers, the developer created “tiny houses” for their employees to live in while they work on site. “This project highlights a particularly innovative solution to the affordable housing crises faced by employers in high-end resort communities,” Terwilliger said.

The Terwilliger Center established the Kemp Award in 2008 to show the critical role that housing plays in achieving economic prosperity and a high quality of life, both for individuals and communities. The award honors the memory of Jack Kemp, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and a ULI Terwilliger Center national advisory board member. The center established the Larson Award in 2011 to honor the legacy of the late Robert C. Larson, a former Terwilliger Center advisory board member, former ULI Foundation chairman, and a longtime ULI trustee.

In addition to Terwilliger, members of the 2018 Kemp Award and Larson Award juries were George Casey, president and chief executive officer, Stockbridge Associates; Alan George, executive vice president and chief investment officer, Equity Residential; Nina Janopaul, president and chief executive officer, Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing; Gadi Kaufmann, managing director and chief executive officer, RCLCO; Dara Kovel, president of development, Beacon Communities; Linda Mandolini, president, Eden Housing; Michael Pitchford, president and chief executive officer, Community Preservation and Development Corporation; and Margaret Wylde, chief executive officer, Pro Matura Group.