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San Antonio Housing Authority Wins Award of Excellence for Project Design

(Washington D.C.-Nov. 17, 2020)- As part of the Wheatley Courts revitalization into East Meadows, the San Antonio Housing Authority’s (SAHA) vision included the construction of the new public Phillis Wheatley Park earning it a 2020 Award of Excellence for Project Design by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO). 

“This year’s award-winning agencies have given us innovative local solutions for increasing affordable housing stock and improving the lives of their residents,” NAHRO President Sunny Shaw said. “I am excited to honor them for their excellence.” 

SAHA saw an opportunity to construct a family-friendly park in a low-income community to enhance the neighborhood and create a safe, decent recreational area for nearby residents. In the early stages of the process, SAHA engaged children, adults and seniors in the area through public community meetings to get input on the park’s design and construction. The Phillis Wheatley Park project was made possible by a Choice Neighborhood Revitalization Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

SAHA oversaw the entirety of the park’s concept design, community outreach, design development, construction oversight and grand opening. The park located near a 215-unit multi-family development and an 80-unit senior living residence, was named after renowned poet Phillis Wheatley. The park features a commemorative art sculpture garden developed through a neighborhood resident collaboration, a large structure providing shade for visitors, and an interactive playground area for children. Once the park’s constructed was completed, SAHA turned ownership of the park to the City of San Antonio, tasking them with long-term maintenance and upkeep of the space.  

“NAHRO members have always been in the business of providing homes and improving lives – these awards commemorate shining examples of the vital work they do nationwide,” NAHRO CEO Adrianne Todman said. “My sincere congratulations to this year’s winners.” 

About Awards of Excellence 

Nominated from among the Award of Merit winners each year, these Awards are chosen by national juries and presented at the annual National Conference and Exhibition.  They represent the very best in innovative programs in assisted housing and community development. 

About NAHRO   

NAHRO, established in 1933, is a membership organization of nearly 20,000 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 7.6 million people. 

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Sylvia Gimenez

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