For 30 years, the Housing North Carolina Awards have recognized affordable developments and neighborhoods that improve lives, enrich communities and spark economic growth. In that time, nearly 170 properties have inspired and represented our industry by demonstrating the very best in affordable housing and showcasing its impact in North Carolina.
Last year’s winners illustrated how affordable housing investments meet differing needs for diverse populations. Ahoskie’s first tax-credit development in a decade, Cypress Court addresses the town’s critical shortage of affordable housing while supporting local jobs. In fast growing Raleigh, where housing is scarce and prices have soared, Crosstowne offers affordable home ownership for families seeking a safe neighborhood for their children with close proximity to jobs, schools and shopping.
The two other 2019 winners exemplify the hope and dignity intrinsic in the very best affordable developments. Urban Ministry Center/Men’s Shelter of Charlotte was recognized for a renovation that not only overhauled the building but also alleviated privacy and safety concerns for shelter guests while continuing to provide supportive services to get these men back on their feet. In Wilmington, SECU Lakeside Reserve turned around the lives of 40 homeless adults, including veterans, seniors and people who were displaced by Hurricane Florence.
The Housing North Carolina Awards program is a valuable conduit for sharing development, design and financing ideas that can be replicated in other communities. The awards also help us gain support for our programs from communities, elected officials and public advocates by showing how public-private partnerships can successfully meet critical housing needs and grow our economy.
To recognize the best developments and neighborhoods, we first need to hear about them. We are seeking nominations for three categories: Rental Production, Supportive Housing Production and Home Ownership Impact. As in past years, the rental and supportive housing categories will recognize the best developments. This year, the home ownership category has been retooled to encompass a broader range of investments that have made a significant impact in a neighborhood and community. Investments can include new construction, acquisition rehab, home buyer initiatives, owner-occupied rehab or a combination of those initiatives, with the nominees being the neighborhoods or communities that have benefitted. Please note that for all categories, we are looking for nominations with concrete examples of the impact that the development, neighborhood or community has had on its surrounding areas and on specific residents.
Award applications will be available later this month at HousingBuildsNC.com, so check there regularly and follow us on social media to ensure you don’t miss the call for nominations. I encourage all of our partners to consider entering the awards, whether it be for your property or for another one that you admire. We will unveil the winners at the 2020 NC Affordable Housing Conference, Sept. 1-2, and we look forward to showing how affordable housing investments in North Carolina are delivering properties that improve lives, enrich communities and boost economic growth.