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Panola Gardens Recognized for National Excellence in Affordable Housing

Columbus, OH. Friday June 24, 2016. – Panola Gardens, a senior housing community in Lithonia, Georgia, received honorable mention at the 22nd Annual Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Awards on June 8, 2016 at the Rayburn House congressional office building in Washington, D.C.

Presented to the most outstanding Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC or Housing Credit) properties in seven categories by the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition, the Edsons convene each year on Capitol Hill with members of Congress, businesses and organizations to celebrate Housing Credit developments at the forefront of creating stronger, healthier communities in urban, suburban and rural areas nationwide.

The Housing Credit is America’s and Georgia’s main tool for creating and preserving affordable rental housing.

“The Edson Awards recognize the Housing Credit’s ability to strengthen lives, communities and the economy, and this year’s winners remind us how vital the program is not only in Georgia but nationwide,” said Anthony J. Alfieri, president of the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition. “As the primary source of financing for affordable housing, the Housing Credit must be expanded to make more developments like Panola Gardens possible.”

“We are honored that Panola Gardens was recognized with an Edson as one of the most outstanding Housing Credit developments in the country,” stated Marcus Vivona, Director of Acquisitions at National Affordable Housing Trust (NAHT). “Panola Gardens is a high quality, energy efficient home for seniors with extensive services, and is the exact type of project that exemplifies what can be developed utilizing Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). We are proud to have been a partner in National Church Residences’ continued work in Georgia.”

National Church Residences built Panola Gardens, a state-of-the-art senior housing community 15 miles east of Atlanta. It contains 84 one-bedroom, one-bath units in a four story elevator-served building. Senior residents have access to quality primary medical care through unique and comprehensive service packages and two onsite examination rooms. The $12 million development was made possible by $7.4 million in equity financing from NAHT’s LIHTC Investment Fund with Fifth Third Community Development Corporation. A variety of services and design features intended to enhance resident well-being and opportunity make Panola Gardens a shining example of how affordable housing can be innovative and sustainable.

A panel of four judges selected seven first place winners and eleven honorable mentions for this year’s awards program. The Edson Awards, given annually by the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition, are named for Charles L. Edson, an affordable housing luminary who was Transition Director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on President Carter’s Transition Staff. Mr. Edson served in the Office of the General Counsel at HUD and was for nearly 40 years Co-Editor-in-Chief of Housing and Development Reporter.  He is a founding partner of the law firm Lane and Edson, and was later a partner of Nixon Peabody LLP.

About the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition

The Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition represents syndicators, developers, lenders, institutional investors, nonprofit groups, public agencies, and other allied professionals (including accountants, lawyers, and compliance specialist) concerned with the Housing Credit program.  The Coalition, a nonprofit corporation chartered under the laws of the District of Columbia, is governed by an elected Board of Directors.  Please visit for more information about joining the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition.

The Housing Credit program was created as part of the Tax Reform Act of 1986.  Today, the Housing Credit is widely regarded as the nation’s most successful housing production program ever. The housing credit has financed more than 2.8 million affordable apartments, supporting 95,000 jobs each year, mostly in the small-business sector.

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