WASHINGTON, DC - Exemplary achievements in workforce housing – by an individual, the development community and public policy makers – are being celebrated tonight by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing at its prestigious ULI Terwilliger Center Workforce Housing Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. Headlining the event is a tribute to legendary housing leader Henry G. Cisneros, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), who is currently executive chairman of CityView in Los Angeles.
The center is also honoring the 2011 winners of the Jack Kemp Workforce Housing Models of Excellence Awards: The Hayes at Railroad Square in Haverhill, Mass.; Tapestry in East Harlem, N.Y., Columbia Commons/Columbia Hicks in Brooklyn, N.Y., and On the Park in Seattle; and it is announcing the first recipient of the Robert C. Larson Workforce Housing Public Policy Award, which is the City of San Jose, Calif.
Held in memory of Jack Kemp, the late HUD Secretary and member of the U.S. Congress, the gala is part of the ULI Terwilliger Center's ongoing efforts to position workforce housing as a critical component of vibrant communities. Keynoting the event is HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan; former HUD secretaries Mel Martinez (gala co-chairman) and Steven C. Preston, and ULI Terwilliger Center Founder J. Ronald Terwilliger will be among the nationally renowned housing and real estate experts participating in the event.
Secretary Cisneros's dedication to building better communities spans nearly four decades of service in both the public and private sector. He served as HUD secretary in President Clinton's administration from 1993 to 1997. During his tenure at HUD, he championed the enforcement of America's fair housing laws, successfully implemented the HOPE VI program to reform public housing, and expanded affordable housing opportunities for working families. Prior to his service at HUD, he served four terms as the mayor of San Antonio, gaining national recognition for his leadership in the city's economic revival. Now at CityView, he works with homebuilders nationwide to create affordable homes for working families.
"Henry is a champion of housing and great urban places. He has worked tirelessly to create a better quality of life for all of America's citizens -- particularly the less fortunate," said Terwilliger, chairman emeritus of Trammell Crow Residential in Dallas. "Henry's work has always been about improving how and where people live, work, learn and play. It's about creating places that are not just affordable, but appealing. His decisions and actions have catalyzed positive change within our nation's towns and cities."
The Jack Kemp Awards, being presented at the gala by Secretary Preston, are given to workforce housing developments that represent outstanding achievements in several areas, including innovative financing, unique construction methodologies, strong public/private partnerships, and replicability to achieve workforce housing affordability. The four winning developments for 2011 were chosen from 30 submissions located throughout the United States.
"These success stories show innovation and purpose on many levels. They are making a positive contribution to their communities, and they are providing important roadmaps for other communities in need of workforce housing," said Secretary Preston, now president and chief executive officer of OAKLEAF Waste Management in East Hartford, Conn.
The 2011 Jack Kemp Models of Excellence Award winners:
Columbia Commons/Columbia Hicks (developed by Columbia Hicks LLC) is a six-story multifamily development near the Cobble Hill neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y. The development provides for-sale and rental units that are affordable to families at a variety of income levels. Of the 95 rental units in the development, 39 serve households making less than 80 percent of the area's median income (AMI); ten serve those with incomes up to 130 percent of AMI; and the remaining 46 are reserved for households with incomes up to 160 percent of AMI. The 42 owner-occupied units are designed to fit conforming loan requirements and be affordable to first-time home buyers. The project was made possible with a combination of subsidies from the New York City Housing Development Corporation and the Department of Housing Preservation, taxable bonds, a reduction in the upfront mortgage recording tax, and a 25-year tax abatement. The workforce units also benefited from state tax credits.
The Hayes at Railroad Square (developed by the Planning Office for Urban Affairs, Archdiocese of Boston) is an innovative rehabilitation of two historic, contiguous mills listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Located in Haverhill, Mass., the 80,000-square-foot development sits on a one-acre parcel that is within walking distance of the historic downtown area, with its restaurants, small businesses and an arts district. The Hayes has 57 one- and two-bedroom flats and duplexes leased at two price points – affordable and moderate/market rate. Thirty-three of the units are reserved for households making below 60 percent of AMI. The remaining 24 can be converted into affordable homeownership units within five years. Nineteen of the 24 units are currently reserved for residents making 60 to 120 percent of AMI. The developer used a variety of incentives, including density bonuses, historic tax credit equity proceeds, brownfield grants, a charitable donation, below-market debt financing, and a land swap.
On the Park (developed by Security Properties) is a mixed-use, mixed-income development located five miles from Seattle's business district in the Ballard neighborhood. Once occupied by an aging grocery store and parking lot, the 1.5-acre development site now holds 268 apartments with a new 45,000-square-foot grocery store on the ground floor, all-underground parking and a small cafe. It offers 54 apartments affordable to individuals and families with incomes at or below 80 to 90 percent of AMI, with basic utilities included. Security Properties partnered with the AFL-CIO Building Industry Trust for the development and ownership of On the Park. The $90 million project was funded entirely with equity. Security Properties also partnered with the city of Seattle to meet the workforce housing goals of the project and make it financially feasible.
Tapestry (developed by Jonathan Rose Companies and Lettire Construction) is one block from East Harlem's commercial and cultural corridor on 125th Street in New York City. Located at a site where there were once vacant lots and a temporary storage facility, Tapestry is Harlem's first mixed-income residential building to receive a Gold certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating program. The project involved New York's 50/30/20 program, through which the city's housing development corporation provides low-interest loans to multi-family rental buildings in which half of the units may be rented at market rates if 20 percent of the apartments are restricted for low-income tenants (40 percent to 50 percent of AMI), and 30 percent are reserved for middle-income tenants (175 percent to 200 percent of AMI). The project's low acquisition cost and the key role played by the city in providing all the long-term financing were instrumental to ensuring the project's affordability.
The 2011 winner of the Robert C. Larson Workforce Housing Public Policy Award is the City of San Jose, Calif. New this year, the award recognizes an exemplary state or local government that provides ongoing and sustainable support for the production, rehabilitation or preservation of workforce housing. It is named in memory of ULI leader Robert C. Larson, a longtime ULI trustee, former ULI Foundation chairman and a member of the ULI Terwilliger Center advisory board.
San Jose is the nation's tenth largest city, with a population of nearly one million. The rapid growth of its high-tech sector over the past 20 years has resulted in soaring home prices that far exceed the purchasing power of workforce households. In response, the city has implemented a series of programs that have leveraged government resources and enlisted private and non-profit partners, focusing on new construction, multifamily and single-family rehabilitation and home buyer assistance. The city also implemented an expanded inclusionary zoning program to ensure that 20 percent of all new housing units in redevelopment areas and 15 percent of all new housing units citywide are affordable to low- and moderate-income families. These policies have facilitated the creation of more than 20,200 housing units; more than half --10,600 – are affordable to workforce households.
The Larson Award is being presented by Larson's son, ULI leader Eric B. Larson, president and chief executive officer of the Larson Realty Group in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. "My father believed that a keen sense of community would emerge when dedicated, smart people do the right thing. And public policy, with strong leadership, is key to the lasting quality of a community," Larson said. "We are thrilled that San Jose is the first recipient of this award bearing my father's name."
"Providing safe and affordable workforce housing has been an important part of San Jose's economic vitality," said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. "San Jose is the capital of Silicon Valley, the world's center of innovation, and having a variety of housing options for our workforce has helped us keep our competitive edge."
The ULI Terwilliger Center's recognition of extraordinary achievements in workforce housing is among many successful activities the center has underway to keep the issue of workforce housing at the forefront, said ULI Chief Executive Officer Patrick Phillips. "Through the ULI Terwilliger Center, we are committed to raising awareness of the nation's workforce housing shortage, exploring solutions to the problem, showcasing best practices, and ultimately, making a measurable increase in the workforce housing supply," he said.
The ULI Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing established in 2007 with a $5 million endowment to ULI from former ULI Chairman J. Ronald Terwilliger, chairman emeritus of Trammell Crow Residential and chairman of the ULI Terwillliger Center. The mission of the Center is to act as a catalyst in increasing the availability of workforce housing by harnessing the power of the private sector.
The Urban Land Institute is a global nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in sustaining and creating thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has nearly 30,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.