Sept-24-08 DCA and HMFA Announce the Winners of the 2008 Excellence in Housing Awards
DCA and HMFA Announce the Winners of the 2008 Excellence in Housing Awards
Awards Presented at the 2008 Governor’s Conference on Housing and Community Development
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The Department of Community Affairs and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency today honored eight local organizations with the Governor’s Excellence in Housing Awards. The award ceremony was held at the 2008 Governor’s Conference on Housing and Community Development at the Atlantic City Convention Center.
“I congratulate the winners of this year’s Excellence in Housing Awards,” said DCA Commissioner Joseph Doria. “These individuals and organizations exemplify DCA’s mission of investing in communities and providing quality housing that all New Jerseyans can afford.”
Each year during the conference, the Excellence in Housing Awards are presented to individuals and organizations that are working to meet the current housing goals and needs of the state. This year’s award recipients were honored for their commitment to outstanding housing development in the areas of affordable housing, green/sustainable development and community revitalization.
Six award categories were selected that best reflect New Jersey’s current housing needs and challenges:
Outstanding Personal Achievement - Celebrates an individual committed to improving the lives of families and the well being of communities through affordable housing.
Outstanding Integration of Supportive Housing with Community Revitalization - Supportive housing that contributes to the revitalization and strengthening of a community.
Outstanding Preservation/Revitalization Effort - A housing activity that preserves existing housing stock or uses housing as a critical component of an overall revitalization effort.
Outstanding Green/Sustainable Development - “Green” affordable housing project that demonstrates a high level of efficiency and conservation.
Best Innovative Housing Partnership - Recognizes a creative partnership with an affordable housing or community development focus.
Special Achievement - Recognizes an individual or organization that best supports the theme of the conference - “Building Neighborhoods – One Home at a Time.”
The awardees included Reverend Clarence Bulluck of the Faith Fellowship Community Development Corporation (Sayreville); Robert F. Guarasci of New Jersey Community Development Corporation (Paterson); Robert Kahan of Spring Street Housing, LLC (Trenton); United Cerebral Palsy of Northern, Central and Southern New Jersey, Inc. (Chester); the Elizabeth Development Company (Elizabeth); the Reformed Church of Highland Park Affordable Housing Corporation (Highland Park); Making it Possible to End Homelessness (New Brunswick) and the Center For Family Services (Camden).
The award for Outstanding Personal Achievement was presented to Reverend Clarence Bulluck, Founder and Executive Director of the Faith Fellowship Community Development Corporation. Rev. Bulluck has dedicated much of his life to developing programs that empower individuals in the areas of personal finance and housing, such as homebuyer education and counseling, financial literacy and credit, and foreclosure counseling and intervention.
The Special Achievement Award was presented to Robert Guarasci, Founder and President of New Jersey Community Development Corporation. Guarasci was honored for his tireless dedication to providing affordable housing to those who need it the most.
This year alone, New Jersey CDC has completed a 15-unit project for the mentally ill and homeless, 12 units of supportive housing with counseling and life-skill services, a six-unit home for youth aging out of foster care, and a student community charter school.
The award for Outstanding Preservation/Revitalization Effort went to Robert Kahan of Spring Street Housing, LLC for the development of the Southwest Village I, which consists of 19 homeownership units in Trenton’s HUD designated Canal Banks Homeownership Zone. This is an important component of Trenton’s Canal Banks Redevelopment Area, which seeks to increase the number of homeowners, create more green space in the community and preserve the existing historic character of the area.
The Outstanding Green/Sustainable Development Award was presented to United Cerebral Palsy of Northern, Central and Southern New Jersey, Inc. for the Meadows at Oldwick. Located in Tewksbury, the Meadows is an 18-unit multifamily supportive housing apartment complex for individuals with disabilities and their families. Each unit of the project contains a variety of green amenities specifically intended to reduce utility costs as well as provide health benefits to its special needs residents.
There were two awards for Best Innovative Housing Partnership. The first honor went to the Elizabeth Development Company. EDC and the Elizabethport Neighborhood Empowerment Council developed a Neighborhood Revitalization Plan to better support the families of Elizabethport. The most recent example of this collaboration is the completion of the nine-unit homeownership project developed by Brand New Day.
The second honor for Best Innovative Housing Partnership was presented to the Reformed Church of Highland Park Affordable Housing Corporation and Making It Possible To End Homelessness for their partnership in the development of Irayna Court. Located in Highland Park, Irayna Court is a permanent housing project for young women aging out of foster care that would otherwise be homeless. Before Irayna Court, there was no project located in Middlesex County to serve this population.
The award for Outstanding Integration of Supportive Housing with Community Revitalization went to the Center For Family Services, Inc. for Camden Dreams. Camden Dreams is a supportive housing project that provides housing for youth aging out of foster care and homeless youth. The project included the renovation of three abandoned buildings in the historic Cooper Plaza Neighborhood of Camden and incorporated green features, including solar electric heating and air conditioning system. The Center provides the structure needed to assist the residents with their basic needs while providing supportive counseling as well as vocational training.
The Governor’s Conference on Housing and Community Development is cosponsored by DCA and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, a DCA affiliate. For more information about the conference, call 609-278-7400 or visit us online at www.nj.gov/dca/hmfa/.