Four Affordable and Workforce Housing Policies, Initiatives Selected as Finalists in Urban Land Institute National Housing Awards Competition

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Programs in Virginia, Chicago, Iowa and New York Honored

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The finalists for this year’s Urban Land Institute (ULI) Robert C. Larson Housing Policy Leadership Awards – an annual recognition of the innovative ways the public sector is addressing the country’s affordable housing crisis – were announced today by the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing.

The 2016 Larson Awards finalists are:

  • Arlington County, Virginia. Long one of America’s most prosperous counties, Arlington has implemented a comprehensive set of policies over time to mitigate the impacts on its workforce from sharply rising rents and home prices. The county provides low-cost financing to developers, rental assistance to lower-income residents, and incentives in its zoning code for mixed-income development. A three-year community engagement process recently resulted in an ambitious Affordable Housing Master Plan that puts forward new proposals to deal with current market conditions.
  • City of Chicago, Illinois. Chicago has acted aggressively to acquire and improve run-down buildings that pose a threat to communities and, when rehabilitated, provide critically needed low-cost housing. Multiple city agencies work with well-established community-based groups to move buildings from code enforcement to improved physical condition and management rather than to abandonment and demolition. These efforts have preserved more than 16,000 rental and for-sale units across the city.
  • City of New York, New York. Experiencing some of the highest rents in the nation and facing affordable housing needs that far outstrip available public subsidy, New York City has created a financing approach that substantially stretches the amount of available funding to support more development than would otherwise occur. The city’s novel approach also allows for mixed-income development and simplifies the local compliance process for developers.
  • State of Iowa. Following severe flooding in 2008, Iowa used Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funding to replace thousands of damaged housing units with affordable, safe, durable, high-performing, and energy-efficient homes. The program established sustainable design and construction requirements for projects funded as part of the recovery. It also supported downtown revitalization and flood-risk mitigation.

The finalists were chosen by a jury of national housing industry leaders. The winner or winners will be announced during the ULI Fall Meeting in Dallas, Texas, October 24–27.

“With workforce and affordable housing needs worsening across the country and the federal government gridlocked on meaningful solutions, state and local leaders like this year’s ULI Larson Awards finalists are bringing admirable creativity and commitment to bear,” said Stockton Williams, executive director of the ULI Terwilliger Center.

The Larson Awards recognize exemplary state and local programs, policies, and practices that support the production, rehabilitation, or preservation of workforce and affordable housing. The program was created in 2011 with the purpose of honoring the legacy of the late Robert C. Larson, former ULI Foundation chairman and longtime ULI trustee. The Larson Awards are part of the ULI Terwilliger Center’s housing awards program, which honors developments and programs that provide affordable, well-designed, and accessible housing choices for people with a mix of incomes, including families earning up to 120 percent of the area median income.

The program recognizes states and localities that undertake a broad range of policy and administrative initiatives to support housing affordability. This can take the form of regulatory or administrative changes such as allowing higher densities and waiving fees, or programs that provide grants or financing assistance. Policy programs are judged on a number of factors, including 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, among other criteria.

Members of the Larson Awards jury are Beverly Bates, senior vice president of development, the Community Builders Inc.; Dara Kovel, vice president of multifamily housing, Connecticut Housing Finance Authority; Linda Mandolini, president, Eden Housing Inc; Meghan Patenaude, senior policy adviser, J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families; Pamela Hughes Patenaude, president, J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families; Mike Pitchford, president and chief executive officer, Community Preservation and Development Corp.; Joe Reilly, president and chief executive officer, the Community Development Trust; and J. Ronald Terwilliger, chairman emeritus, Trammell Crow Residential.

NOTE TO REPORTERS AND EDITORS: Courtesy images of the Robert C. Larson Housing Policy Leadership Awards finalists are provided by ULI for use by legitimate members of the press upon request. For more details on the awards and previous winners, visit the Larson Awards webpage.

About the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing
The ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing conducts research, performs analysis, provides expert advice, and develops best practice recommendations that reflect the residential land use and development priorities of ULI members in all residential product types, with special attention to workforce and affordable housing. The center was established in 2007 with a gift from longtime member and former ULI chairman J. Ronald Terwilliger.

About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the institute has more than 38,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines. For more information, please visit uli.org or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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