ATLANTA – Reynoldstown Senior Residences, an independent-living, affordable housing facility servicing residents 62 years and older, won the 23rd Annual Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Awards for Senior Housing today in Washington, D.C. at the Capitol Visitors Center. Mercy Housing Southeast, a regional branch of Mercy Housing, Inc., a leading national affordable housing nonprofit, accepted the award.
The Edson Awards are presented annually to Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) developments in eight categories by the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition. Each year, members of Congress, businesses and organizations come together to celebrate outstanding Housing Credit developments that are creating stronger, healthier communities in rural, suburban and urban areas across the country.
The Housing Credit is America’s and Georgia’s primary tool for creating and preserving affordable housing, financing nearly all affordable rental homes – almost 3 million across the country – since it was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.
“The Edson Awards celebrate the Housing Credit’s unique ability to improve lives, strengthen our communities and boost the economy. This year’s winners remind us how vital the program is for Georgia and America,” said Anthony J. Alfieri, president of the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition. “The Housing Credit is America’s primary source of funding for affordable housing, and as such must be expanded to ensure that more developments like Reynoldstown Senior are possible.”
Reynoldstown is one of many communities in Atlanta’s inner city that, in less than a decade, has transformed from a blighted, long-derelict area to a hotbed of high rent apartment units, mixed-use developments and quarter-million-dollar-plus homes. With property values skyrocketing and rents going through the roof, it is becoming increasingly difficult for longtime residents of this historically African-American community, as well as middle-income, working class families, to remain in the vicinity. Mercy Housing’s affordable rental community is part of a broader multi-faceted housing strategy that works toward creating housing for a mix of incomes and ages around the Atlanta BeltLine and Atlanta’s in-town neighborhoods. Reynoldstown Senior Residences allows for “aging in place,” to help ensure senior citizens are able to stay in the neighborhoods they call home.
“Reynoldstown is especially important to us as it has allowed Mercy Housing Southeast to engage in community revitalization that supports strategies to create new affordable housing in a historically significant neighborhood that is undergoing gentrification,” said Tina Lowe, President, Mercy Housing Southeast. “We are honored that the development has been recognized with an Edson Award as one of the most outstanding Housing Credit developments in the country.”
“The National Affordable Housing Trust and Mercy Housing have a successful history of preserving and developing quality affordable rental housing to those who need it the most,” said Marcus Vivona, Director of Acquisitions at the National Affordable Housing Trust (NAHT), which provided $2.8 million in LIHTC equity investment. “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Mercy Housing and to have played a role in the development of Reynoldstown Senior Residences.”
A key component of Mercy Housing’s approach is to coordinate the delivery of services on-site which are relevant to the vitality of its residents. Mercy Housing’s Resident Services team partners with a wide range of community groups to provide programming, activities and other support that focuses on the needs of aging residents. Some of the offerings include partnerships with community health agencies to provide health education, health screenings, wellness checks, and physical activity tailored to the specific needs of the residents.
“Reynoldstown Senior is a great example of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit helping Georgia’s seniors age in place by combining critical services with affordable housing,” said U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. “I commend the public and private partners who joined together to provide for seniors in our community on receiving this well-deserved, national recognition.”
A panel of four judges selected eight first place winners and eight honorable mentions for this year’s awards program. Given annually by the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition, The Edson Awards 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 served as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Housing and Development Reporter for nearly 40 years. 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
Founded in 1988, AHTCC is a trade organization of housing professionals who advocate for affordable rental housing financed using the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit). Our for-profit and non-profit members—including syndicators, investors, lenders, developers, legal and accounting professionals and state allocating agencies—seek to preserve, expand and improve the Housing Credit and complementary programs through legislative outreach and education. Please visit www.taxcreditcoailtion.org to join or for more information.
The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) 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 nearly 3 million affordable apartments, supporting 96,000 jobs each year, mostly in the small-business sector.