Robert C. Larson Housing Policy Leadership Awards

“This year’s Larson Awards finalists are excellent examples of leadership in addressing one of the most pressing issues faced by our communities – an issue that could undermine their ability to grow and thrive in the decades ahead.”

J. Ronald Terwilliger, Terwilliger Center Founder and Chairman

About the Award

The Robert C. Larson Housing Policy Leadership Awards, named in honor of a former ULI trustee and ULI Foundation chairman, recognize exemplary state and local policy efforts in support of affordable and workforce housing.

States and localities can undertake a broad range of policy and administrative initiatives to support housing affordability. These can take the form of regulatory or administrative changes such as higher densities and waivers of fees, or programs that provide grants or financing assistance.

The Robert C. Larson Awards recognize innovative state and local policy initiatives that support the creation and preservation of affordable and workforce housing, specifically housing affordable to households earning at or below 120 percent of area median income (AMI). Learn more about the previous winners and finalists.

2019 Robert C. Larson Housing Policy Leadership Award Winners:

  • Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority’s Land + Credit = Workforce Homeownership Program, the goal of which is to create 6,000 new units of workforce homeownership opportunities. The program uses a multi-pronged approach, which includes locational analysis, customized pricing, restrictive covenants, and credit enhancement. The first workforce housing project under this program went to settlement in September 2015. The program so far has led to 13 projects with 148 units of workforce housing and an additional 62 market rate units in mixed-income projects.
  • New York City Housing Development Corporation’s Mitchell-Lama Reinvestment Program, which builds upon HDC’s existing programs, while taking a more holistic approach towards properties’ immediate and long-term needs. The original Mitchell-Lama program was enacted under state law in 1955 to create affordable rental and cooperatively owned housing targeted for moderate and middle-income New Yorkers. The program facilitated the construction of 140K+ units spanning more than 300 developments. The portfolio is now experiencing challenges in preserving affordability in the wake of expiring affordability requirements. In response, MLRP provides Mitchell-Lama rentals and co-ops with ultra-low cost capital and waived financing fees to address current and future physical needs while minimizing financial stress on the residents. Since program inception HDC has closed financing for 9 projects with a total of 9,123 units of affordable housing. Additionally, HDC has restructured $245M in debt, the majority of which for capital repairs at the properties.