Affordable Housing and Tax Credit Developments NationallyThree Affordable Housing Developments Earn The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Design Award

May 29, 2012by George Danneman

Three affordable housing developments earned the prestigious HUD Secretary’s Housing and Community Design Award. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) selected Richardson Apartments in San Francisco, California; Bud Clark Commons in Portland, Oregon and the Boston Public Library, Mattapan Branch in Boston, Massachusetts. All three were recognized for excellence in residential housing design and are considered a new generation of affordable housing.

There were three sub-categories to the award;

For Excellence in Affordable Housing Design: The Richardson Apartments in San Fransico, California. This award focuses on the architecture that demonstrates excellence with respect to the needs and constraints of affordable housing. This new building is the former site of a collapsed freeway. It is now a mixed-use Single Room Occupancy (SRO)  Building which provides homes for former homeless people in 120 studio apartments includes a private roof garden to facilitate community social activities. Most of these formerly homeless residents have mental and physical disabilities. This innovative design is responsive to the specific needs of the tenants.

For Creating Community Connection: Bud Clark Commons: Portland, Oregon. This award recognizes projects that combine housing within other community conveniences for the purpose of resurgence or growth. This resurgence of growth combines low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC), urban renewal funding, and HUD Recovery Act dollars. Bud Clark Commons, opened in the summer of 2011 as a service and shelter for the homeless. The building has a LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. These energy-efficient technologies are estimated to save the community up to $60,000 per year. The Housing First Approach, a mission of the Bud Clark Commons, is utilized to target homeless individuals and help them transform their unsettled conditions into a steady living arrangement.

For Community-Informed Design: Boston Public Library, Mattapan Branch: Boston, Massachusetts. This award recognizes support of the physical community in the process of rebuilding social structures and relationships. Outmigration, disinvestment, and the isolation of inner-city areas can cause weakening of the social structure. This new vibrant building provides a welcoming enviroment with different programs offered to multiple age groups.  By way of example, the library provides the largest young adults’ space of any regional public library.

“Building Something that reaches the height of both form and function begins on the drawing board,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “These Developments prove that innovative and thoughtful designs play an essential role in creating sustainable communities where everyone wants to call home”

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