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 2017 COQ Awards will be presented at NAHMA's annual winter meeting, March 4-6
, in Washington, D.C. For details on the NAHMA meeting, visit https://www.nahma.org/meetings/
“This year, we had 46 applications proving that the Communities of Quality Awards program continues to thrive and to be a point of pride for all the contenders,” NAHMA Executive Director Kris Cook, CAE, said. “There is no other award that focuses so comprehensively on the everyday life and management expertise of affordable housing properties.”
NAHMA's 2017 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 HUD's Section 8 PBCA for Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia and Connecticut.
NAHMA congratulates the five winners.
Exemplary Family Development
Owner: Peabody Westfield, LTD Partnership
Management: Peabody Properties Inc.
Powdermill Village is made up of 250 apartment homes and townhouses spread out over 12 buildings in Westfield, Mass., at the foothills of the Berkshires. The community is home to more than 250 youth and a large Russian immigrant population. The Powdermill Village Tenant's Association has fostered relationships with several local civic, religious and government agencies in an effort to create structured recreational programs that instill character development skills, respect for diversity, a sense of teamwork, self-empowerment and peer leadership, especially for the younger residents. Besides children's programs, Powdermill holds an annual CommUnity Day to celebrate the residents. Additionally, there are monthly resident meetings and MassHousing Tenant Assistant Programs ranging from Reptile's Rock to fall prevention to Zumba and more. The senior residents have access to the Peabody Resident Services Inc. Home Care program, which provides assistance with daily living activities such as personal care, medication cueing and housekeeping, among others. In 2012, the community's resident services manager received the New England Resident Service Coordinator Excellence in Service Award, and in 2015, she was awarded the NEAHMA Resident Services Professional of the Year Award.
Exemplary Development for the Elderly
Owner: Clayton Providence House
Management Company: Community Realty Management
Clayton Mews, located in Clayton, N.J., is a 55-plus Low-Income Housing Tax Credit senior apartment community with 50 percent of the residents' income at or below 50 percent of the area median income and the remaining residents below 60 percent of the area median income. The community has 14 Section 8 voucher holders and is highly recommended by the Housing Authority of Gloucester County and the state of New Jersey Division of Community Affairs. The community has a long list of activities designed to educate or improve residents' quality of life while creating a sense of belonging including movie nights, Silver Sneakers chair exercises, flu shots, bingo, health screenings, an annual dinner with the mayor, crime and scam prevention classes and resident birthday parties, among others. The property manager collaborates with the Resident Committee to tailor programs according to the ongoing changing needs of the residents. Clayton Mews has formed numerous partnerships including with Kennedy Hospital and Kennedy Hospital Health Services, which provides a licensed nurse to come to residents' apartments by appointment. The residents are also involved in the greater community through an Angel Tree program, Stockings for Soldiers and Toys for Tots.
Exemplary Development for Residents with Special Needs
Owner: Multiple Sclerosis Association of America
Management Company: PRD Management Inc.
Roebling Arms was built on land that was donated by the town of Roebling, N.J., and opened in 1998. It was designed to focus on serving the special needs of mobility-impaired individuals in the area. It is a two-story, 24-unit, barrier-free facility that offers residents a feeling of independence that they cannot experience in a traditional apartment building. Residents include both elderly and those with disabilities, including five residents with service animals. Roebling Arms offers amenities specially designed to assist with residents' quality of life, including 36-inch wide doors, raised electrical outlets, wheelchair-accessible sinks and cabinets, roll-in showers, emergency pull chords in the bathrooms and bedrooms, among others. The community has received several awards over the years, including NJAA Property Manager of the Year every year since 2008, and such JAHMA awards as Maintenance Technician of the Year five times since 2010, Excellence in Property Management three times, Excellence in Resident Relations and Property Office Staff of the Year for Office Assistant twice. Roebling Arms also provides activities throughout the year ranging from Muffin Mondays to holiday luncheons to heath care seminars and more.
Exemplary Development for Single Room Occupancy Housing
Paul Braswell Residential
Owner: Life Help Region IV Mental Health
Management Company: The Columbia Property Group
Paul Braswell Residential is a group home located in the heart of Cleveland, Miss. It is 18 years old and has 12 single-room units. The property provides a therapeutic-like setting that is in operation seven days a week with round-the-clock supervision. It is used as a transitional residence to assist individuals as they move from an institutional setting to a less restrictive supervised setting where the average stay is six months. The residents are offered a number of programs including training in daily living skills such as meal preparation, doing laundry, medication management, grooming and hygiene, social skills, and housekeeping and maintenance skills. The progress residents make is measured using a “Road to Independence” form where they must maintain a minimum score of 60 for a period of eight weeks to be considered for a discharge or transfer to another program. The property also provides three meals a day and snacks, which have been developed by a registered dietitian. Residents are held to a daily schedule during the week, while on weekends, they have more leisure time that includes transportation to church, shops and community activities. Residents enjoy birthday parties and holiday celebrations throughout the year.
Outstanding Turnaround of a Troubled Property
Casa Farnese Apartments
Owner: Casa Farnese Board of Directors
Management Company: PRD Management Company
AHMA: PennDel AHMA
Casa Fermi—later renamed Casa Farnese in 2004—opened in 1966 with Section 202 financing and was the first senior affordable housing community of its kind in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. With 18 floors and 288 apartments, it stood proudly in a centrally located Philadelphia neighborhood and was luxurious by the standards of the day. Over the decades, the lack of rent increases combined with rising costs had a negative impact and by 2003, it was in need of major repair. The property had financial and physical issues including an annual deficit of $110,000, no records of deferred maintenance, inconsistent bookkeeping, collections issues, appliances and equipment that had not been upgraded since 1966, no social services and more. When hired in 2003, PRD Management began addressing the most critical issues first and was eventually able to secure financing to assist in rehabilitation of the aging property and adequately staff the building. Casa Farnese, named for Andrew Farnese who first envisioned building the apartments so he and his friends could age in place, celebrated the end of construction and its 50th anniversary in 2016 with a rededication party for residents.