2019 Virginia Housing Awards winners announced at Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference
The 2019 Virginia Housing Awards recognize outstanding and innovative efforts in crafting effective solutions for the Commonwealth’s complex array of housing needs.
Best Affordable Housing Development
Award Recipient: Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing
Project: Columbia Hills Apartments
Columbia Hills Apartments in Arlington County was developed by the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) and completed in October 2018. The new 229-unit, eight-story affordable housing property reclaims a surface parking lot from APAH’s adjacent, mixed-income garden apartment complex. Columbia Hills’ most important impact in the community is providing critically needed affordable housing.
Award Recipient: Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens
Project: AASC Senior Living Community
The Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens owns and operates a mobile home park adjacent to their central office in town of Cedar Bluff that provides housing for senior citizens aged 55 and older and adults 18 and older with disabilities. Most units are reserved for low- and very-low-income seniors with risk criteria such as health issues, homelessness or extreme social isolation. The senior living community addresses a major problem facing low- to very low-income seniors in this area: safe and affordable housing.
Best Housing Program or Service
Award Recipient: City of Virginia Beach Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation
Project: Virginia Beach Housing Resource Center
The Virginia Beach Housing Resource Center (HRC), completed in August 2018, is a one-stop shop of services for families and individuals experiencing homelessness or a housing crisis. For more than 30 years, the community effort to end homelessness in Virginia Beach has been through a tapestry of faith, city and nonprofit organizations working together. The new HRC has become the centerpiece of the community system in Virginia Beach and has enhanced efforts to make homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring for families and individuals.
Inclusive Community Award
Award Recipient: TM Associates Development Inc.
Project: Woods at Birchwood
The Woods at Birchwood in Loudoun County is an 83-unit active adult community consisting of three, four-story, brick and wood frame buildings. The development is part of a broader 1,500-unit homeownership active adult community called Birchwood at Brambleton. The development was created by utilizing a hybrid or “twinning” finance structure of both 9 percent and 4 percent tax credits. The Woods at Birchwood provides a diverse community access to affordable housing, creating an inclusive community where all residents have equal access to a high quality of life.
Best Housing Preservation/Revitalization Effort
Award Recipient: CFH Inc.
Project: East End Mobile Home Park
In early 2017, CFH Inc. began to hear about a situation involving approximately 200 people in the city of Manassas. It was being reported that everyone at the East End Mobile Home Park was being evicted because the owner could not afford to repair the deteriorating infrastructure, including reports of sewage being pumped into the park. CFH began to meet with advocates and the residents’ representatives, as well as their attorney, the city and the current owner, gathering information and data from each meeting. CFH Inc. determined they could create a path forward to acquire East End, make much needed improvements, including installing additional fire hydrants and increasing the number of storm sewers, as well as replacing all water and sewer lines and repaving the roads. Through their tremendous intervention, CFH Inc. has been able to save more than 200 people from being evicted and created a vision to maximize East End as a wonderful community to live and raise a family.
Best Regional Partnership
Award Recipient: Northern Virginia Housing and Economic Development Stakeholders’ Collaboration
In the fall 2017, Arlington County and the city of Alexandria, Virginia partnered to submit a joint response to Amazon’s request for proposals for a second headquarters site (Amazon HQ2). Branding the localities’ adjacent land and development assets “National Landing,” the proposal team identified housing affordability early as a key challenge to Northern Virginia’s potential selection, given Seattle’s negative experiences with inadequate housing capacity and real estate market pressures, along with the anticipated size of the potential new workforce competing for housing in a region already known for high housing costs. To support their joint response to the HQ2 RFP, housing and economic development staff from Alexandria and Arlington, with support from VHDA, initiated regional discussions about how Northern Virginia could expand the range of housing options available, including increasing supplies of affordable, workforce and market rate homes, and both rental and ownership units.
The Governor’s Housing Conference is Virginia’s largest and most comprehensive affordable housing event of the year. The three-day event features workshops and sessions designed to help public and private sector representatives develop effective housing solutions in Virginia. More than 900 affordable housing advocates, providers and policy makers gather each year at the conference.
For more information about the conference, visit vaghc.com.