NAHRO Announces Awards of Excellence Winners!

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) recently awarded 20 prestigious Awards of Excellence to 16 housing and community development organizations. The awards will be presented during the 2023 Washington Conference, NAHRO at 90: ADVOCATE, which takes place from March 21-24 in Washington, D.C.

Selected by regional juries from an initial pool of 178 Awards of Merit recipients, each of the winning programs improves resident outcomes, resolves problems, is replicable by similarly-sized organizations and produces tangible results such as cost savings and improved client services.

“NAHRO members provide vital housing and support in their communities, and do so through economic downturns, pandemics and natural disasters, declining federal investment and other challenges,” said NAHRO CEO Mark Thiele. “These 20 programs exemplify their creativity and determination in providing local solutions that others can learn from and replicate, and we’re thrilled to honor their work.”

The winning programs are:

Administrative Innovation

  • HACLA University (Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles), an in-house training program implemented by the agency’s legal department
  • PPE Distribution Project (Oakland Housing Authority), a program to provide personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies to public housing residents.
  • Self-Service Kiosks (Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority), which allowed customers to submit documents, apply to waiting lists, complete online housing applications and recertifications conveniently and safely.

Affordable Housing

  • Vista Verde (National Community Renaissance), one of the first all-electric, zero-net-energy communities in the Inland Empire, with 101 high-quality apartment homes.
  • Accessory Dwelling Unit Development Pilot Program (San Diego Housing Commission), which built and rented out five ADUs in five SDHC-owned single-family homes, and detailed key takeaways and lessons learned in a comprehensive report.
  • The Commons on MLK (Homes for Good), a 51-unit permanent supportive housing community for chronically homeless individuals.
  • Adaptive Reuse Creates Neighborhood Revitalization Serving Homeless Veterans (Housing Authority of the City of Yakima), 41 new homes for formerly homeless veterans along a newly-formed transit line.

Community Revitalization

  • Small Business Emergency Relief Program (Los Angeles County Development Authority), which combated COVID-19’s severe economic impacts on the community by providing more than $102 million in grants and loans to 6,320 businesses.
  • Harmony Garden Estates, LP (Alexandria Housing Authority), an initiative that gathered stakeholders to transform an aged public housing development into an affordable housing community that brought renewed hope and pride to its residents.
  • Garcia Street Urban Farm Stand (San Antonio Housing Authority), a project that brought an urban farm and, later, a farm stand into a USDA known food desert.
  • Majestic Ranch Apartments (San Antonio Housing Authority), a 288-unit multi-family development for working families.

Project Design

  • Cottages at Green Lake (Lawrence-Douglas Housing Authority), part of the new Behavioral Health Campus in Lawrence, Kansas, which includes a crisis recovery center, transitional group housing, and 10 units of permanent supportive housing.
  • Majestic Ranch Apartments (San Antonio Housing Authority), a 288-unit multi-family affordable apartment development.
  • North Central Five (Philadelphia Housing Authority), a mixed-income community offering 133 units of housing on a full-block site, with access to a fitness room, community room, computer room, library and more.

Resident and Client Services

  • CCP/PHA Shared Housing Program (Philadelphia Housing Authority), a partnership that transformed six scattered-site units into dorm-like apartments for Community College of Philadelphia students.
  • Emergency Housing Program (Housing Authority of Danville), which provided 95 individuals (including children) with emergency hotel vouchers, transitional living and case management services.
  • Local University Support of Resident Wellness (Housing Authority of the City of Westbrook), a partnership with the University of New England to provide a wellness center and space for service-oriented activities such as pro bono oral health preventative care, digital denture services and social work for 650 low-income residents.
  • Opportunity Fund for College Students (Housing Authority of Champaign County), a program that provides up to $500 of assistance for students from HACC-assisted households who are enrolled in local community colleges.
  • Seniors Connect Art Kit Program (Oakland Housing Authority), which provided participants with an art kit to use in the safety of their homes, as well as a newsletter, wellness checks and other resources throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Tech Tools for Children in Housing Communities (East Baton Rouge Housing Authority), a program that provided Chromebooks, hotspots, computer accessories and eventually free Wi-fi to 680 children.

About the Awards

The NAHRO Awards of Excellence winners who are recognized for outstanding achievement in housing and community development programs in five categories: Administrative Innovation recognizes innovative methods in areas such as maintenance, community relations, and interagency cooperation. Program Innovation — Affordable Housing includes special programs for homeownership, public/private partnerships, and innovative financing. Program Innovation — Community Revitalization includes innovative use of programs in areas such as economic development, neighborhood preservation, and creative financing. Program Innovation — Resident and Client Services includes innovative use of programs such as special activities for children, families, and the elderly, anti-drug programs, social services, and self-sufficiency. Project Design includes efforts such as new housing design, housing modernization, enduring design, and landscape design.

The NAHRO Agency Awards program was created 20 years ago to recognize agencies who found innovative ways of making a difference in their communities and in the lives of the people they serve by creating affordable housing, revitalizing their neighborhoods, and developing initiatives such as job readiness programs, public-private partnerships, disaster prevention projects, and more. The selected programs were innovative in their approach to creating and utilizing creative systems to implement essential housing and community development programs. These programs can be replicated by other agencies to resolve industry-wide problems.


NAHRO, established in 1933, is a membership organization of more than 19,500 housing and community development agencies and professionals throughout the United States whose mission is to create affordable housing and safe, viable communities that enhance the quality of life for all Americans, especially those of low- and moderate-income. NAHRO’s membership administers more than 3 million housing units for 8 million people.

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