|Alexandria, Va., Jan. 26, 2021
- The National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) announces the winners of its annual Industry and AHMA Awards, which will be presented during its Biannual Top Issues in Affordable Housing virtual winter conference
, March 8-11.
The list of award winners includes individuals and organizations whose professionalism, dedication, and accomplishments in assuring quality housing for low-income Americans raise the multifamily affordable housing industry standards. More detailed descriptions of award winners will be provided in the March-April issue of NAHMA News.
NAHMA Industry Statesman Awards
Given annually to NAHMA Executive Council members who are either in or nearing retirement, in recognition of many years of outstanding leadership and service to NAHMA.
During her career, Karen Steinbaum, NAHP-e, who has retired from SK Management, began her career when a woman in business was uncommon. Still, she overcame all obstacles to lead her company as well as to become a leader in the affordable housing industry. Through her tireless efforts, she became a mentor to many and led others to excellence. Her company provided many careers in property management and countless homes for low-income families, seniors, and persons with disabilities. Many of her mentees became leaders in the industry in their own rights, a progression which she always championed.
NAHMA Industry Achievement Award
Given annually to a NAHMA Executive Council member who has contributed significant or noteworthy leadership or other contributions to NAHMA within the past year or two.
Much of the virtual training offered by the AHMAs started with Debbie Piltch, SHCM, CPO, NAHP-h, FHC, and her efforts, ideas, and support have been instrumental in finding a way to allow the AHMAs to continue to train throughout the pandemic. She taught the first virtual Fair Housing Compliance course in April. She is also a member of the Blended Compliance Designation (BCD) Task force, including being involved in the course rewrite process and volunteering weeks of her time to give a careful review of changes to the manual from the BCD task force.
Industry Partner Award
Given annually to a government agency or other affordable housing organizational partner that has made a significant contribution to the cause of affordable housing in the previous year.
Michael Cummings is the vice president of Southwest Housing Compliance Corporation (SHCC), an Austin Housing Authority division, Austin, Texas. In his leadership role with SHCC, the Performance-Based Contract Administration (PBCA) for Texas and Arkansas, Cummings has made the agency a true partner to the owners and managers of the properties in the SHCC portfolio, always willing to listen and give careful consideration to the industry's concerns and work towards a fair and equitable solution. During the pandemic, Cummings has put the concern for the health and safety of property staff and residents first in postponing all Management and Occupancy Reviews and working with owners and agents to find ways to meet their regulatory obligations during this difficult time.
AHMA of the Year
Given to AHMAs using criteria such as size, number of members, success in membership recruitment, membership retention, education and training course attendance, financial stability, and other factors.
Large: In 2020, SAHMA made updates to its membership model to reflect the number of units owned and managed in the southeast, all while the association maintains an 84% retention rate. SAHMA, which covers eight southeastern states and the Caribbean, continued to grow its SAHMA-U webinar opportunities, resulting in 52 live webinars throughout the year while adding 10 additional on-demand webinars to its expanding library. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SAHMA was only able to hold two state conferences before travel and large group gatherings came to a halt. As a result, SAHMA canceled its remaining state conferences and hosted its annual Leadership Affordable Housing Conference virtually rather than in-person. The COVID-19 pandemic challenged the association to evaluate and reimagine many of its in-person events, but most member services continued uninterrupted.
Medium: JAHMA—serving property managers and owners of New Jersey—canceled its Spring Management Event and replaced it with weekly virtual meetings to share information, strategies, and COVID-19 safety tips. Additionally, a COVID-19 page was created for the JAHMA website, which shared coronavirus updates from NAHMA, from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, and local vendors. Going virtual was brand new for JAHMA. It was necessary to jump into the virtual training world with both feet. This started with a series of COVID webinars with topics ranging from Communication Challenges to Income Calculations. JAHMA was also able to offer multiple NAHMA credential trainings. Restructuring the JAHMA membership categories and nonmember outreach has allowed the association to maintain membership and increase numbers in some areas.
Small: AHMA-NCH, serving Northern California and Hawaii, maintained a 93% retention rate for total properties and units while also picking up three new management companies. AHMA-NCH pivoted to online training in early March and partnered with NAHMA to transition the certification classes' conversion to online status. Additionally, to serve its Associate members, AHMA-NCH created webinar opportunities for educating its members while offering a chance to display their products. As the pandemic continued and in-person access to state representatives was eliminated, AHMA-NCH employed grassroots tactics to notify members of important issues taking place within the state and utilized their strength in continuing to advocate for affordable housing.
AHMA Communities of Quality Program Award
Given to AHMAs according to size that have a substantial number of COQ awards in their area, demonstrate support for the program, and introduce new or innovative activities.
Large: SAHMA has 599 COQ National Recognition Program participants, with six new communities since the previous year. Also, 10 SAHMA member companies have received the Communities of Quality Corporate Partner Designation.
AHMA Innovation Award
Given in recognition of a new program, service, or activity that an AHMA began sometime in late 2019 or in 2020.
Large: Due to the pandemic, SAHMA quickly pivoted its focus for education and training from in-person conferences and events to online educational opportunities with the cancellation of many of its state-level conferences. They bolstered their on-demand SAHMA-U Learning Library and increasing the opportunities for live webinars. Additionally, SAHMA decided to utilize live and on-demand features during its three-day virtual leadership conference to maximize attendees' educational benefit by offering live sessions and providing access to all content until the end of the week. As a result, SAHMA was able to give the participants 17 hours of continuing education. SAHMA was also able to retain about 90% of its registrations with the decision to move the leadership conference from in-person to virtual.
Small: AHMA-PSW, representing management agents and owners of over 85,000 housing units in Arizona, Nevada, and Southern California, launched the AHMA-PSW Foundation's 5K Virtual Run as a way to have members and nonmembers participate, share their experience, and have fun while raising money for the AHMA's scholarship program during the pandemic. The virtual event was held over six weeks to allow members time to join at their own pace, understand the ground rules, share their experience and participate in a fun and healthy activity. Additionally, the association released the AHMA-PSW in Action 2020 publication, a project that captured the essence of the voluminous amount of work accomplished by the AHMA while working remotely and building community with members in a different way.
Very Small: LAHMA, serving Louisiana, created a webinar for its members that was also broadcast on public television for the community at large, called COVID Awareness: Past and Present. The program was moderated by Norman Robinson, a former local news personality, and featured a panel of experts consisting of Sarah Babcock, director of Healthy Environments and Communications at the New Orleans Health Department, Dr. Julio E. Figueroa, professor of medicine, chief of infectious diseases for Louisiana State University School of Medicine, and Kris Cook, executive director of NAHMA. The panel provided insights on dealing with issues related to the pandemic and its effects on affordable housing staff and residents.
NAHMA Communities of Quality Award
Given annually to a NAHMA Executive Council member who has the most newly listed properties on the NAHMA National Recognition Program COQ Registry?based on data maintained by NAHMA staff.
Most new in 2020 is awarded to GK Management Co., headquartered in Culver City, Calif.
NAHMA President's Award
Given annually by NAHMA's president for outstanding leadership or other contribution to NAHMA and the affordable multifamily housing industry?to be named by NAHMA's president at NAHMA's annual winter meeting during the March 9 virtual awards ceremony.