For over 20 years, NALHFA has been recognizing the outstanding efforts of its member agencies and non-profit organizations through our Awards program. Held in conjunction with each NALHFA Annual Educational Conference, these awards draw submissions from across the United States and in all categories of affordable housing development – single family, multifamily redevelopment, mixed-use, senior housing and many others. An awards committee of NALHFA members judges award submissions and makes final decisions. Nomination forms are sent to the membership well in advance of an Annual Educational Conference.
Through the Awards program, NALHFA strives to highlight achievements in local housing finance and encourage other agencies to look for new and innovative ways of meeting their affordable housing goals.
The five selection criteria for the NALHFA Awards program are rigorous and demand the highest quality from submitting organizations.
- The first criterion is Extraordinary Benefit to the Community. The selection committee specifically examines projects to see if they meet the needs of low- and moderate-income segments of the community, achieve the organization’s community public purpose goals at low cost to the agency or non-profit and target particular neighborhood(s) for revitalization.
- The second criterion is Innovation. As we all know, affordable housing is a very challenging field and it demands creative models and strategies. Of key importance here is innovation in financing mechanisms, financing sources, partnerships, use of land or buildings and exceptional physical design components.
- Transferrability is the third criterion used in selecting award recipients. A central goal of the awards program is to promote new ways of developing affordable housing applicable in member communities that may differ by region, economic environment or other ways. Committee members specifically look for the extent to which the program or project could serve as a model or demonstration for other members, or could be replicated within other communities.
- The fourth criterion is Affordability. Specifically, what percentage of units have rents affordable to low- and moderate-income tenants. Also, to what degree does the program or project serve households at relatively low percentages of area median income. Finally, what is the tenure of affordability?
- The final criterion is Serving Needs of Special Groups, such as the physically or mentally disabled, elderly persons, single-family households, large families, the homeless, minorities or other groups targeted for assistance in the organization’s community.