2021 NMA Housing Awards

Recognizing outstanding achievements in housing

The 2021 NMA Housing Awards recognized the excellence of individual agencies in the affordable housing industry. In a year when so many faced extraordinary challenges, PHAs were part of the network of support, while continuing to work toward the long-term goals of the agency.

Thanks to all who joined us to celebrate our nominees and see the winners announced. Watch the video of our virtual ceremony:


NMA Development Award (large agency)
NMA Development Award (small agency)
NMA Resident Service Award (large agency)
NMA Resident Service Award (small agency)

Applications are now closed.

NMA Development Award

We honor outstanding achievement in affordable housing with the NMA Development Award. These achievements include new development or construction, green initiatives, property improvements, or outside-the-box financing.
One award will go to an agency with 2,500 or more units, and one to an agency with 2,499 or fewer (based on the total number of housing units).

NMA Resident Service Award

The NMA Resident Service Award recognizes leaders in the affordable housing industry whose community outreach and similar efforts improve the future of the families they serve. Such initiatives include self-sufficiency programs, community projects, education, or other resident or participant initiatives.
One award will go to an agency with 2,500 or more units, and one to an agency with 2,499 or fewer (based on the total number of housing units).

Karen DuBois-Walton, PHd accepts the NMA Development Award September 17th.

2021 Winners

Development Award
Large Agency

Glendower Group
Mill River Crossing, New Haven, CT

Development Award
Small Agency

Trinity Financial
Courthouse Lofts, Worcester, MA

Resident Service Award
Large Agency

Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority
Partnership with HCGC

Resident Service Award
Small Agency

E. Baton Rouge Housing Authority
Beds for Babies / Beds for Kids

 Previous Winners

2019 Development Award 

2019 Resident Service Award 

Large Agency

Fort Wayne Housing Authority
Posterity Scholar House

To set up residents for a better future, FWHA focused on educational opportunities. They offer courses on gardening, early childhood and human services training, college readiness, and other subjects. Their self-sufficiency initiative also added safety measures like security cameras and peepholes to homes.

Small Agency
Rutland Housing Authority
Hickory Street Phase 3

RHA rebuilt a neighborhood into a strong mixed-income community. They designed every unit to be energy-efficient and set up a nearby center for programs like a garden, health and education opportunities, and a preschool.

Large Agency

Metropolitan Council Housing and Redevelopment Authority
Homeless Action Team (HAT)

Metro HRA’s Homeless Action team served the dual purpose of helping the unsheltered into housing and clearing up the local transit system. They partnered with their police department to give vouchers to the homeless and help them transition into homes.

Small Agency
New Albany Housing Authority
Job Club and Lunches with Bosses

NAHA’s Family Self-Sufficiency initiative helped individuals find employment. Their weekly Job Club offered support and coaching, as well as tools for job searching, resume creation, and interview practice. The housing authority also provided rides to and from job interviews and hosted monthly “Lunches with Bosses” at which local employers would speak, collect applications, and conduct initial interviews.

2018 Development Award

2018 Resident Service Award

Large Agency
San Diego Housing Commission
Housing First
With this program, SDHC exceeded its three-year goal of creating 3,000 housing opportunities for homeless residents in just 18 months by means of a highly successful landlord engagement and assistance program, military veteran initiative, and more.

Small Agency
Housing Authority of the City of Napa
Valley View Senior Homes
HACN developed a new affordable housing project just for low- and very low-income seniors age 55+. The first of its kind in Napa, Valley View includes apartments and cottages designed to blend in with the neighborhood, along with free internet, weekly social events, a clubhouse, a bocce ball court, and a community garden.

Pictured: Valley View Senior Homes, Napa, CA
Large Agency
Philadelphia Housing Authority
PHA formed a nonprofit affiliate to raise funds and develop resident programs by means the agency itself couldn’t leverage. Through a range of philanthropic sources, PhillySEEDS was able to provide scholarships, help PHA families to homeownership, and invest in residents’ entrepreneurial endeavors.

Large Agency
Worcester Housing Authority
Step-Up Apprenticeship Program
WHA identified the root causes of unemployment for tenants and responded with a program providing technical curriculum and on-the-job training to residents. Step-Up offers four disciplines: apartment prep, landscaping, custodial work, and administrative assignments.

Small Agency
Central Falls Housing Authority
Bringing Generations Together
To address concerns about senior isolation, CFHA formed an intergenerational program. Teens paired with seniors for snow removal, farmer’s market outings, healthy cooking, crafts, storytelling, and other culturally rich and diverse activities.

Honorable Mention
Housing Authority of Cook County
Forest Preserve Experience
During HACC’s 5-week summer program, high-school-aged HCV and PH residents worked on conservation and restoration projects for a paycheck (often their first), learned about the environment, and enjoyed outdoor recreation like canoeing and hiking, with classes in money management and other supplementary activities made available at a local community college.

2017 Development Award

2017 Resident Service Award

Large Agency
Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino
Valencia Grove
The County of San Bernardino’s first public housing site was long overdue for major renovations. HACSB revitalized the property, transitioning to a mixed-use community (eventually to include homeownership) with a multi-use educational and recreational facility.

Small Agency
Nevada Rural Housing Authority
Richards Crossing
To serve high-need communities, NRHA constructed a unique affordable housing development specifically for homeless and extremely low-income individuals, with units reserved for chronically homeless veterans. The facility provided job training, life skills coaching, and related support to help tenants move toward self-sufficiency.

Honorable Mention
Legacy Commons
Fresno’s goal was to provide truly high-quality affordable housing. Their innovative community includes 128 one- to four-bedroom apartments, as well as a multipurpose room, kitchen, recording studio, fitness center, play structures, and swimming pool.

Large Agency
New York City Housing Authority
Food Business Pathways
NYCHA wanted to expand access to economic opportunities. They collaborated on a full-scale business career accelerator that empowered residents to start and grow restaurants, commercial kitchens, and similar endeavors.

Large Agency
Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority
To increase the chances of residents and HCV participants becoming economically self-sufficient, CMCHA developed M.O.V.E.—Motivate, Opportunity, Vision, Empowerment—to provide employment, job training, educational opportunities, and support services.

Small Agency
Broward County Housing Authority
Summer BreakSpot Mobile Program
BCHA addressed food insecurity in child and teen populations. Their summer program provided nutritious lunches and snacks to minors, along with nutrition education, cooking demonstrations, a literacy program, physical fitness, personal enrichment workshops, and fun activities.

2016 Development Award

2016 Resident Service Award

Large Agency
Indianapolis Housing Agency
Barton Block
IHA was under pressure to close and sell one of its largest and oldest public housing communities, which was in a newly popular urban neighborhood. Instead, the agency reinvested in the tower and unused land to create public open space, affordable housing, and room for new businesses.

Small Agency
Northern Illinois Regional Affordable Community Housing
Rockford Veterans Drop-In Center
When the Veterans Drop-In Center lost its site, WCHA obtained a special zoning use permit and rehabilitated a recently acquired old home into a like-new space. Complete with energy-efficient appliances, the rehabbed building was located next to public transport and near essential businesses as well as restaurants.
Large Agency
Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority
Conversation Over Pizza
To help residents address the societal challenges they faced in their community, CMHA created a platform for productive dialogue. In focus groups facilitated by the housing authority, law enforcement, and other partners, residents discussed and developed viable solutions for reducing local crime and violence.

Small Agency
Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority
Full Circle Wrenching Crew
LDCHA’s year-round bicycling program provided a positive, structured environment to youth residents. The extracurricular activity empowered youth to develop new skills, responsibility, leadership, cooperation, and volunteerism.

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