The affordable housing communities of ABHOW continue to reap awards for their forward-thinking designs, energy-efficient buildings and exceptional service to residents.
The latest award recipients are Pacific Meadows in Carmel, Calif.; Salishan Gardens in Tacoma, Wash.; and Valley Vista in San Ramon, Calif.
Pacific Meadows, which recently underwent an extensive full-community renovation, was named one of the National Affordable Housing Management Association’s (NAHMA) Communities of Quality.
The Communities of Quality National Recognition and Awards Program honors those affordable housing communities that meet NAHMA’s high standards for maintenance, financial management, programs and services, employee credentials and other criteria. More than three-quarters of ABHOW’s affordable housing communities already carry the designation.
“It’s a 360-degree view of the property where they look at regulatory compliance, conduct a physical inspection of the property and look at its financial performance,” says Travis Hanna, ABHOW’s director of operations for affordable housing. “They consider letters from family and residents, political leaders and regulators. They want to make sure we’re doing a great job.”
Part of the credit for the recognition goes to Pacific Meadows’ recent $7 million overhaul, which updated the community’s appearance and environmental technology.
“We did a great job taking care of our residents and our property, but the property needed a substantial rehab,” Hanna says. “Now it’s beautiful, as well as a great place to live.”
“It’s just gorgeous,” says Kathleen Lepisto, administrator for Pacific Meadows. “Now it doesn’t look like what you’d expect from affordable housing. It looks like luxury living.”
In addition to the renovations to the community’s residential buildings, a former work-and-water-intensive English garden was replaced by landscaping that features drought-tolerant species native to the Monterey Peninsula.
“The look now is very Mediterranean, fits the setting and enhances the view of the property,” Lepisto says. “The new landscaping almost takes care of itself.”
She says the community’s new solar array, meanwhile, draws 400 kilowatts and nearly powers the entire campus, freeing residents from power bills. Any residual electrical costs not covered by the solar collection are covered by Pacific Meadows.
“We’re really proud to receive this recognition and to be part of such a prestigious group of communities,” Lepisto says. “I do believe we’re right up there with the best.”
As with all ABHOW’s senior affordable housing communities, the upgrades were paid for by a combination of federal, state and local housing funds. Ongoing operations at the communities are funded through government subsidies and resident rent.
"ABHOW Affordable Housing has gone through a renaissance in the last few years where we have become a vital part of the organization,” Hanna says.
As for Salishan Gardens and Valley Vista, their honors came in the form of multiple Gold Nugget awards from the Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC). The organization recognizes developers and architects that “improve communities through exceptional concepts in design, planning and development.”
Valley Vista won in two categories: Affordable Housing Project (15 to 30 apartments per acre) and Affordable Seniors Housing Community. Salishan Gardens won for Affordable Housing Project (over 30 apartments per acre).
The Gold Nugget Awards were presented at the PCBC Home Tradeshow at the Moscone Center in San Francisco on June 28.
“These are very distinguished awards, especially when it comes to the affordable housing world,” Hanna says.
Founded in 1949, ABHOW is widely known for its pioneering leadership in senior housing and health care. The company serves more than 5,000 residents in 42 retirement communities in California, Arizona, Nevada and Washington.
To learn more about ABHOW visit www.abhow.com.
This article appears in the July 2012 issue of ABHOW Words.