The National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) announces three communities were selected as four 2019 winners of its annual Communities of Quality® (COQ) Awards program. Since 1992, these awards have honored the best multifamily affordable housing communities across the country.
Entrants are judged on how they manage the physical, financial and social conditions of their properties, and on how well they convey their success in offering the highest quality of life for their residents.
The 2019 COQ Awards will be presented at NAHMA’s Biannual Top Issues in Affordable Housing winter conference, March 8-10, in Washington, D.C. 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,” NAHMA Executive Director Kris Cook, CAE, said.
NAHMA’s 2019 COQ Awards program is jointly sponsored by HD Supply Multifamily Solutions, a leading supplier of maintenance and renovation products to the multihousing industry, and Navigate Affordable Housing Partners, a leading provider of consulting and development services to public housing authorities and the HUD Section 8 project-based contract administrator (PBCA) for several states.
NAHMA congratulates the winners. For a more detailed description of each property, visit the COQ Awards Program webpage at www.nahma.org.
Exemplary Family Development
Castle Square Apartments
Owner: CSTO Winn Owner LLC
Castle Square Apartments, a mixed-use mixed-income development located in Boston’s South End neighborhood, is home to more than 1,300 residents as well as local businesses.
The community consists of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units. Of the 500 units, 450 are Project- Based Section 8 serving families as well as elderly and residents with disabilities, and 50 are market rate. There are also 18 commercial spaces, totaling 36,750 square feet, which are occupied by tenants including a fitness studio, a doughnut shop and a hardware store.
Originally constructed in 1968, conditions at Castle Square Apartments, had deteriorated badly by 1990, when the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) HOPE program gave the residents of low- and moderate-income housing the chance to become owners.
Capitalizing on the program, the Castle Square Tenants Organization (CSTO) joined forces with WinnCompanies in 1992 to form a partnership that made the CSTO the property’s 51% owner.
The joint venture invested $50 million, including renovations to the property and the implementation of an array of resident service programs, making the Castle Square Apartments the single most successful HOPE development and winner of multiple industry awards.
Exemplary Development for the Elderly
Santa Monica, Calif.
Owner: Neilson Villa
Management Company: GK Management Company Inc.
Neilson Villa is a 100-unit three-story elevator-serviced building featuring affordable one-bedroom apartments that caters to residents over 62 years of age and residents with disabilities. The community has been professionally managed by GK Management Co. Inc. since it opened in July 1977.
One of the features of Neilson Villa that makes it such a special community is its location in Santa Monica, Calif. It occupies a prime site just steps away from Santa Monica Beach and is a five-minute trek from the famous Venice Boardwalk. The property is close to Interstate 10 and is just minutes from Marina Del Rey. It is no wonder that the waiting list for Neilson Villa has over 800 applicants, and had to be closed in November 2017, and the occupancy rate for the community generally runs between 98% and 100%.
Preservation of affordability at Neilson Villa is of utmost importance to the residents and the community as a whole given the extreme shortage of affordable housing in Southern California. The owners of Neilson Villa have made long-term commitments to preserve the affordability of the community.
Exemplary Development for Residents with Special Needs and Exemplary Development for Single Room Occupancy Housing
Santa Barbara Village
Cape Coral, Fla.
Owner: Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida Inc.
Management Company: The Columbia Property Group
Santa Barbara Village is a garden-style group home located in the heart of Cape Coral, Fla. It is owned by Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida Inc. and is managed by The Columbia Property Group. The property itself is 18 years old and has 10 single-room units and two two-bedroom units. This property is in a quiet little neighborhood where the residents look out for and help one another. The property houses elderly residents with disabilities as well as families with children.
The property is doing very well financially as its reserves are fully funded, rent is 100% collected and there are no vacancies.
The residents are offered many amenities through the owner, Goodwill Industries, such as a Meals on Wheels program, medical and dental services, as well as activities including dancing, games and billiards. They also have library visits, computer classes, discussion groups and assistance with accessing transportation. Over time, the residents have formed very close friendships and they look out for one another.