The Robert C. Larson Housing Policy Leadership Awards recognize exemplary state and local programs, policies, and practices that support the production, rehabilitation, or preservation of affordable and workforce housing. Learn more about the previous winners and finalists by clicking on the links below.
2019 Award Winners
The winners of the 2019 Robert C. Larson Housing Policy Leadership Award were announced at ULI’s Fall Meeting in Washington, DC.
- 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.
2018 Award Winners
The 2018 Robert C. Larson award winners were announced during ULI’s Fall Meeting. Congratulations to the 2018 winners:
- Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Metro Affordable Transit Connected Housing Program. LA Metro has leveraged the land above their transit lines for affordable housing. In order to assist in this effort, the agency created the Metro Affordable Transit Connected Housing Program (or MATCH), a public-private lending partnership that seeks to preserve affordable housing near new and existing nodes of transportation. Metro also utilizes a Joint Development Agreement, which takes advantage of Metro’s ground lease policy. This program has helped create more than 700 affordable housing units, with nearly 1,000 additional units planned.
- State of New York Mortgage Finance Agency’s Community Restoration Fund. The Community Restoration Fund (CRF) purchases mortgages on properties believed to be occupied and assists the homeowners by connecting them with nonprofit advocates, who in turn assist them with restructuring their debt. To date, the agency has purchased 570 mortgages in an effort to assist homeowners and stop property abandonment, while leveraging more than $112 million in private funds to help in the effort.
- New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency’s Mixed-Income Reserve
- New York City Housing Development Corporation’s Mixed-Middle Income Program
Washington, D.C.’s Department of Housing and Community Development was selected as the winner of the 2017 Robert C. Larson Housing Policy Leadership Award. The Department has taken a multi-pronged approach to tackle issues facing housing the city’s residents, including the establishment of a significant housing trust fund to support construction and preservation; a streamlined, more efficient process for the disposition of vacant properties; improved programs to encourage homeownership and facilitate attainment for those who would otherwise remain renters; and the creation of a Housing Preservation Strike Force to focus on maintaining existing affordable units.
- Boston, Massachusetts: Department of Neighborhood Development
- Denver, Colorado: Office of Economic Development, Housing Development Division
- New York, New York: Housing Development Corporation
Through its Troubled Buildings Initiative, Chicago has acted aggressively to acquire and improve run-down buildings that pose a threat to communities—and instead rehabilitate vacant and abandoned structures to provide critically needed low-cost housing. Learn more.
2016 Larson Awards Finalists
2015 Larson Awards Winners
- Palm Beach County Workforce Housing Program (WHP)
- Connecticut Housing Finance Authority’s (CHFA) Small Multifamily Rental Development Strategy
For more information, email Terwilliger.Award@uli.org.