DCA, HMFA Announce Winners of 2009 Excellence in Housing Awards
Awards Presented at Governor’s Conference on Housing and Community Development

ATLANTIC CITY - The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) today honored eight organizations and two individuals with the Excellence in Housing Awards in recognition of their outstanding work in housing development. The award ceremony took place at the 2009 Governor's Conference on Housing and Community Development at the Atlantic City Convention Center.

"Governor Corzine joins me in congratulating the winners of this year's Excellence in Housing Awards and commending them for their innovation in the field of affordable housing," said DCA Acting Commissioner Charles A. Richman. "New Jersey is making progress in providing homes and apartments that people can afford, in large part, because of the efforts of these award recipients and others like them."

Every year, the Excellence in Housing Awards recognize individuals and organizations who meet state needs and current housing goals. This year’s award recipients were honored for outstanding housing development in the areas of affordable housing, green/sustainable development and urban in-fill. 

Five award categories were selected that best reflect New Jersey's current housing needs:

Outstanding Green/Sustainable Development - "Green" affordable housing project that demonstrates sustainable design with innovative material.

Providing Opportunities through Supportive Housing - A housing project that promotes opportunities for tenants with special needs.

Outstanding Affordable Housing Development - A housing development that uses innovative concepts and design to meet the needs of the targeted population.

Outstanding Urban In-fill Project - New urban construction sites that maximize the use of limited interior and exterior space while maintaining the integrity of surrounding buildings.

Outstanding Personal Achievement - Congratulates an individual committed to improving the lives of families and the well being of communities through affordable housing.

The project awardees included Kent Avenue Apartments (Pennsville); Brimmer House (Trenton); Abbett Avenue Apartments (Morristown); Heritage Village at Lawrence (Lawrence); Sharp Road Family Housing (Evesham); Harriet Tubman Homes (Jersey City); Father Michael J. Doyle, founder of the non-profit organization "Heart of Camden," and Robert A. DiVincent, CEO of West New York Housing Corporation.

The award for Outstanding Green/Sustainable Development was presented to Ron Rukenstein and Associates for Kent Avenue Apartments. Located in Pennsville, Salem County, the 101-unit development underwent a green reconstruction. The roof was equipped with a 100-kilowatt solar rooftop system expected to meet 70 percent of the development’s common area electricity demand.

The Providing Opportunities through Supportive Housing Award was presented to Rescue Mission of Trenton for Brimmer House. Opened in March of 2009, Brimmer House welcomed five single, low-income, homeless men. Rescue Mission of Trenton gave the men an opportunity to rebuild their lives despite their history of substance abuse.

There were three awards for Outstanding Affordable Housing Development. The first award was presented to Homeless Solutions, Inc (HSI) for Abbett Avenue Apartments in Morristown. HSI took an unsightly, non-conforming mixed use building and created a 12-unit development that enhances the neighborhood.

The second award for Outstanding Affordable Housing Development was presented to Community Investment Strategies Inc. for Heritage Village at Lawrence. Located off Route 1, Heritage Village provides affordable senior and special needs units. Once a site for serious environmental issues, Heritage Village now helps the environment by using the HMFA Sunlit Program, incorporating solar panels to increase energy efficiency.

The final award for Outstanding Affordable Housing Development was presented to a partnership of public and private collaborators that included Moorestown Ecumenical Neighborhood Development, Inc. and Conifer Realty, Inc., which came together to create Sharp Road Family Housing. Located in Evesham Township, the 104-unit provides affordable housing to families in Burlington County.

The award for Outstanding Urban Infill Project went to Jersey City Redevelopment Agency and Franklin Development Group for Harriet Tubman Homes. Located in Jersey City, this development is the first venture into workforce housing for teachers, fire fighters, and municipal employees. Harriet Tubman Homes bring a new and different architectural style contributing to the City's economic revitalization.

The Outstanding Personal Achievement Award was presented to both Michael J. Doyle and Robert A. DiVincent. Monsignor Doyle founded the non-profit organization known as "Heart of Camden," which he has led for 25 years. Today, Heart of Camden is one of the most effective community development organizations in the state.

Robert A. DiVincent is CEO of the West New York Housing Corporation. Since its creation in 2000, Mr. DiVincent has initiated four new affordable housing developments resulting in nearly 250 units for the area’s low income families, seniors and disabled citizens.

The annual Governor's Conference on Housing and Community Development is sponsored by the Department of Community Affairs and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, a DCA affiliate. For further information about the conference, please call (609) 278-7400, or log on to http://www.nj.gov/dca/hmfa/.