The National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) announces that four communities won 2022 Communities of Quality (COQ) Awards this year. Since 1992, these awards have honored the best multifamily affordable housing communities across the country.
Entrants are judged on how they manage their properties’ physical, financial, and social conditions and how well they convey their success in offering their residents the highest quality of life.
The 2022 COQ Awards will be presented as part of a special luncheon and panel discussion with the winners on March 9 during the NAHMA’s Biannual Top Issues in Affordable Housing winter conference on March 8-10. For details on the NAHMA meeting, visit https://www.nahma.org/meetings/.
“There is no other award that focuses so comprehensively on the everyday life and management expertise of affordable housing properties,” Kris Cook, CAE, NAHMA CEO, said.
This year’s COQ Awards program is jointly sponsored by Navigate Affordable Housing Partners, a nonprofit engaged in developing, owning and managing affordable housing and consulting with various housing agencies and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 8 project-based contract administrator (PBCA) for multiple states, and Yardi, which develops and supports industry-leading compliance, accounting and property management software for every type and size of affordable housing provider.
NAHMA congratulates the winners. For more information about the National Communities of Quality Recognition and Awards Program, visit the COQ Program Overview webpage at www.nahma.org.
Exemplary Family Development
Moorhead Manor Apartments
Owner: Molpus Moorhead Manor, LTD
Management: Michaels Management Affordable
Located in a small rural town with a population of approximately 1,845, Moorhead Manor Apartments, a 62-unit multifamily Section 8 property, has thrived over the years. Being one of two government-funded properties in town, Moorhead Manor has gained recognition and prestige because of its beautification and management skills, according to community leaders, city workers, guests and prospects. The company’s vision is to create a launching pad for its residents to move to the next level of their lives; therefore, Moorhead Manor strives to accomplish that vision. One of the unique qualities of Moorhead Manor is that it has an on-site social service coordinator three full days a week to offer supportive services to the residents. The services include programs targeting health and wellness, educational success and financial stability to build a stronger community. During the height of COVID-19, Moorhead Manor made sure its residents were taken care of by making them the priority when it came to their physical safety, ensuring their leases were secure by making packets for them to complete and place in the drop box, halting any evictions, informing them of rental assistance programs that were available to help with their rents and delinquent balances. Residents were informed of events that were giving away groceries and household items. Moorhead Manor staff also provided elderly and special needs residents with care packages that included items such as masks, sanitizers, wipes and other household items they would need to protect their health during the pandemic.
Exemplary Development for the Elderly
Haddon Heights, N.J.
Owner: Haddon Heights Senior Citizens Housing Corporation
Management Company: PRD Management
Stanfill Towers is located in the borough of Haddon Heights, N.J. Today’s Stanfill Towers is a “campus,” in addition to the original high rise, there are also a historic house and carriage house, which provides spaces for overflow resident parking, offices, and gatherings, a beautiful community garden, and a front porch with rockers for community members and their guests to enjoy. The original building opened in 1978. It is age-restricted, Project-Based Section 8 housing with approximately 130 low-income residents. Stanfill Towers consists of one-bedroom and studio apartments. The residents enjoy an array of amenities and activities, a sitting area, a computer learning center, a library, and a community room with a kitchen. The Stanfill resident organization is an independent, all-inclusive, and active group that plans activities and events all year round and provides outreach to sick or frail residents. The floor captains also help ensure residents are connected with what’s happening and serve as helpful neighbors to those needing outreach. The residents enjoy many planned activities, including weekly games, group discussions, presentations, lectures, special dinners, games, and many celebrations. There is a community garden, lots of outdoor seating, card games in the historic house, and much more. There are partnerships with several local service organizations to provide residents with free ride-sharing, trips and food pantry deliveries, and a free bus to local malls and shopping areas. Students from the community schools come to the Towers to perform songs and coach residents on technology.
Exemplary Development for Residents with Special Needs
Owner: Kershaw Commons LP
Management Company: Michaels Management Affordable
Kershaw Commons is the East Coast’s first accessible, affordable rental residences for people needing specialized services coordinated by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Developed in partnership with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Kershaw Commons provides people with disabilities with the state-of-the-art, fully accessible lifestyle they deserve. The 32-unit, garden-style housing has spacious new barrier-free apartments full of accessibility features and activity-based community space, including a library, technology center, accessible garden, community rooms and other programming space. Kershaw Commons is convenient to shopping, restaurants and entertainment. It is less than a mile from the CentraState Medical Center’s Multiple Sclerosis Center and the MS Wellness Center. The building meets or exceeds the Americans with Disabilities Act standards, including 42-inch-wide doors throughout the apartment, automated door openers on apartment entry doors, hardwood and ceramic tile floors for ease of living, custom horizontal sliding energy efficient windows for easy opening, linen closets with slide out shelving, accessible light and thermostat controls. Bathrooms come with some roll-in shower units and accessible transfer shower units for remaining apartments, accessible mirrors and additional grab bars in bathrooms. Kitchens come with accessible kitchen cabinets with roll-under access, slide-out shelving and lazy Susan set up, side-by-side accessible refrigerator/freezer with automatic ice maker, front control range/oven, dishwasher and countertop microwave. All common areas come with automated door openers, hardwood and ceramic tile floors for more effortless movement, railings in all public hallways, automatic light sensors in the common areas and automated openers for trash chutes.
Outstanding Turnaround of a Troubled Property
Towers at Kuhio Park
Owner: KPT Towers 1 LLC
Management Company: Michaels Management Affordable
When Michaels Development Company purchased Kuhio Park Terrace, in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 2009, it was known as a place of blight and crime. Mention the name, and even the bravest folks would not visit. The physical condition of the two 16-story towers, built in 1965, reflected 45 years of deferred maintenance resulting in a lawsuit against the state for handicap inaccessibility. Residents could not rely on elevators. At this time, 98% of residents are Pacific Islanders, with 42% identifying as persons with a disability and unable to climb stairs. High rises were seen as failed experiments and were torn down across the nation; however, with Honolulu’s high-cost housing market—a Department of Housing and Urban Development Difficult Development Area—these Towers could not be replaced for the $135 million renovation costs. Concurrent with the renovation, Michaels Management Company and its strategic partner, Better Tomorrows, met with residents to get acquainted, recertify households, and learn their needs. Now, each tower has its own management team. An existing 23,200 square feet was converted into 11 resident services rooms where community partners provide computer training, financial literacy, parenting classes, emergency food aid, children’s programs, employment programs, educational programs, a library and a federally qualified health center with screenings, treatments, check-ups, palliative care, and support groups for patients with chronic diseases. A fitness center, two enhanced laundry facilities, a community hall, and a community garden were also added. In all, more than $54 million in improvements were completed. The transformation from a failing housing property into a financially viable, sustainable, mixed-income community has dramatically enhanced the lives of the residents and the surrounding neighborhood.
NAHMA is the leading voice for affordable housing management, advocating on behalf of multifamily property managers and owners whose mission is to provide quality affordable housing. NAHMA supports legislative and regulatory policy that promotes the development and preservation of decent and safe affordable housing, is a vital resource for technical education and information and fosters strategic relations between government and industry. NAHMA’s membership represents 75% of the affordable housing industry, and includes its most distinguished multifamily owners and management companies. Visit www.nahma.org for more information.
About Navigate Affordable Housing Partners
Based in Birmingham, Ala., Navigate Affordable Housing Partners is a nonprofit engaged in developing, owning and managing affordable housing and consulting with various housing agencies to provide compliance and training. Navigate is also a federal contractor providing compliance and financial services on behalf of HUD as the Section 8 PBCA for multiple states. Navigate’s core values―Service, Respect, Transparency, Quality, and Innovation―are applied to every aspect of their work and has resulted in an exemplary reputation in the housing industry. For further information, visit www.navigatehousing.com.
Yardi develops and supports industry-leading compliance, accounting and property management software for every type and size of affordable housing provider. Yardi solutions streamline compliance with HOME, USDA Rural Housing, HUD 50059 and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit programs. Clients choose Yardi for quality products, expert support and stability. They stay with us for evolving solutions that outpace the ever-changing technology landscape. For more information on how Yardi is Energized for Tomorrow, visit yardi.com or call 800-866-1144.