NACCED Recognizes Outstanding Counties with Awards of Excellence in 2017
The National Association for County Community and Economic Development (NACCED) honored several members for outstanding work in the field of affordable housing and community and economic development during its 42nd Annual Educational Conference and Training in Portland, OR. Each year, NACCED recognizes the many achievements of America's counties through the Annual Awards of Excellence program.
During the annual Business Meeting and Awards Luncheon, member counties were recognized for their notable initiatives in seven categories:
Allegheny County Economic Development: Dave Wright Apartments
The Dave Wright Apartments, built through a partnership between the ACTION-Housing and the Autism Housing Development Corporation of Pittsburgh (AHDCP), is Pennsylvania’s first community comprised of quality housing for adults with autism integrated together with typical families, and to link both to employment opportunities and supportive services. The project was funded through tax credits from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and with development funds from Allegheny County Economic Development.
Housing Authority of Los Angeles County: The Growing Experience in Environmental Resource
The Growing Experience (TGE) is a seven-acre facility located in North Long Beach, California, within the Carmelitos public housing development, operated by the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles. TGE is a resource serving the residents of Carmelitos as well as the greater Los Angeles-Long Beach community. Programs and activities showcase environmental sustainability, such as the aquaponics system which produces three to four times more fresh produce than traditional growing methods with a smaller footprint. Additionally, the facility strives for water and resource conservation, and the research and implementation of new technologies to increase productivity.
Salt Lake County Housing & Community Development: Columbus Secure Shredding Facility Upgrade: Creating Jobs for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
The Columbus Community Center has been creating meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities for over 5 decades. The Columbus main campus has a secure document shredding business that employs 50 individuals with severe disabilities, helping these individuals overcome the obstacles they face to become employed. Salt Lake County Housing & Community Development helped make capital upgrades to their facility including a new air filtration system. These improvements help create a healthy and safe environment for employees and accommodate the expansion of the business, providing more jobs for individuals with severe disabilities.
HOME Investment Partnerships Program
County of Essex Division of Housing and Community Development: Essex County HOME Program - Downtown Partners Mixed Income
When the opportunity arose for the redevelopment of vacant land adjoining an abandoned post office terminal by the RPM Development Group and its project affiliate, Downtown Partners Mixed Income, LP, Essex County provided additional HOME funding to augment the investments from the City HOME program and other public/private lenders to fully fund the project. As a result of this public/private partnership, an underutilized land parcel located in the downtown area just blocks from Newark City Hall, which previously communicated blight and decay, is now a newly constructed mixed use/mixed income 87-unit complex. The complex is contributing to the invigoration of downtown Newark while providing improved housing options for current residents and attracting outsiders seeking to relocate from higher rent areas.
Community Development Commission of County of Los Angeles: Families Coming Home Together
In 2014, the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission (CDC) and Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) collaborated to create the Families Coming Home Together pilot program. The pilot program consisted of 25 identified DCFS families where homelessness was the sole barrier to the return of the children. The families that met program requirements were reunited with their children after receiving approval from the Dependency Court. The pilot was successful in enrolling 23 of the 25 identified families and housed 14 families.
County of Fairfax, Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA): Residences at the Government Center
The Residences at Government Center “Residences” is an affordable workforce housing development created by a unique public-private partnership between the County of Fairfax, Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA), Jefferson Apartment Group, Stratford Capital Group, and the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA). What makes the “Residences” so unique is the innovative public-private partnership that was formed to address such a critical need in the community. By leveraging county land, the community was built at no cost to the local taxpayer. It was the first project in Virginia to employ a hybrid financial structure utilizing both 9 percent and 4 percent Low- Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) to fund its development.
Twin Cities Section 3 Collaborative: An Innovative Regional Certification and Referral System for Contractors and Section 3 Resident Employees, Businesses and Contractors
In the Twin Cities area there are numerous city and county entitlement communities and several public housing authorities. In the past, individuals and businesses had to apply to each individual jurisdiction to obtain Section 3 Eligibility certification. A certification received in one jurisdiction was not accepted in another. Over the past 7 years, program managers have been meeting to formulate a better, more efficient way to engage Section 3 workers and businesses by working collaboratively. HUD's national register was not of benefit. In 2010, the City of Saint Paul and Ramsey County created an online worker registration and database to share Section 3 data registrations. With the technology in place, the other entitlement jurisdictions were able to see how a central regional database could work and began formalizing a cooperative structure that included compromise in order to standardize. This is the first local initiative of its type in the US.