Special Achievement

This category recognizes HFA programs, projects, or actions that respond in an outstanding manner to an important state need; have a significant impact on a population, geographic area, or economy; and cut across traditional program lines.

New — as well as qualitative improvements to existing — programs, projects, and practices are eligible.

The Special Achievement category does not have subcategories.

Judging Criteria

Special Achievement entries will be judged on the degree to which they:

  • Are innovative
  • Respond to an important state need
  • Achieve intended results
  • Provide benefits that outweigh costs

If you have questions, please email awards@ncsha.org or call 202-624-7710.

2019 Entries

Arizona Department of Housing:
Policy Changes in the Qualified Allocation Plan for Higher Production of Units

The Arizona Department of Housing overhauled its QAP to affect higher production of affordable housing. At the end of the process, which included six public meetings with stakeholders, scoring preferences and underwriting standards were updated with provisions designed to ensure that tax credits were being used in the most cost effective way possible. The revisions resulted in a decrease in tax credits per unit, a decrease in total development cost and in increase in production.

California Housing Finance Agency:
Making Loan Comparisons Easy

Loan officers who originate CalHFA loans can quickly make online side-by-side comparisons of our loan products so they can easily determine which mortgage would be best for their first-time homebuyer clients.

District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency:
Mortgage Relief for Furloughed Federal Workers

DC MAP (Mortgage Assistance Program) is a $9 million program that was developed to help District homeowners who are full-time Federal or District Government employees whose agency relies on Federal Government funding and is impacted by the Federal Government partial furlough shutdown remain current on their mortgages as a result of the partial Federal Government shutdown that spanned December 2018 to February 2019.

Idaho Housing and Finance Association:
Enhancing Financial Stability for Housing Nonprofits in Idaho

With minimal administrative staff and funding for overhead activities, many service providers have limited experience or capacity in philanthropic fundraising. The need to create more stable and diverse funding for homelessness and affordable housing services was a natural fit for IHFA. Avenues for Hope Housing Challenge is an online fundraising campaign held for three weeks in December that builds philanthropic networks to enhance resources for Idaho nonprofits.

Illinois Housing Development Authority:
Revitalizing Whole Communities

To increase opportunity throughout Illinois, IHDA created a program to incentivize Community Revitalization planning via its QAP and offers technical assistance to increase planning capacity in underserved communities. This program has created a rich tapestry of developments that are linked to ongoing community-level efforts, and that integrate affordable housing investment into local strategies that benefit residents holistically.

Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority:
CreatINg Places: Honoring Culture and History Through Innovative Crowdgranting

In most instances placemaking and ensuring Fair Housing are separate projects. However, through our King Park Kennedy King Memorial Initiative (KKMI)placemaking project we have helped to change that thought process. KKMI wanted to add artistic additions to the existing King Park. To do, they utilized IHCDA's CreatINg Places program to raise $61,100 that was matched with $50,000 from IHCDA. The park and its new features are now a defining part of the City of Indianapolis and a symbol of unity.

Kentucky Housing Corporation:
Riverport Landings — An Intergenerational Community

Riverport Landings is an innovative community that integrates a broad spectrum of residents, providing stable housing to seniors, families, and youth coupled with community services, neighborhood retail, and recreation that helps spur commercial development in the neighborhood. Community centers and park are excellent resources for those living in the community and surrounding areas.

MassHousing:
MassHousing's Planning for Housing Production Program

Massachusetts’ Comprehensive Permit Law expands affordable housing by allowing developers to override local zoning bylaws in municipalities where less than 10% of housing is affordable. The law has caused communities to behave in a reactive rather than a proactive manner. MassHousing’s Planning for Housing Production program empowers communities by providing financial assistance for additional technical capacity to implement housing production goals and deliver new mixed-income housing.

Minnesota Housing:
Phase II EngergyScoreCards Pilot

Minnesota Housing’s Phase II EngergyScoreCards Pilot helped navigating utility incentive and financing programs to facilitate the implementation of efficiency projects at multifamily properties across the state.

New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency:
Hospital Partnership Subsidy Pilot Program

The Hospital Partnership Subsidy Pilot Program is a $12 million innovative partnership with hospitals to promote investment in affordable/supportive housing in their communities. Many studies show links between housing and health, and frequent emergency room users, who are often homeless, drive up costs. As anchor institutions, hospitals can play a vital role. NJHMFA is matching hospital funds to develop affordable housing, including a required set aside for frequent users of hospital systems.

Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency:
RX Office CMS: Positioning the PHFA Network for the Future in Technology

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), Counseling and Education Team had been asked to examine the merits of two HUD approved Client Management Systems designed to streamline the case management process and provide management oversight for the PHFA Housing Counseling Network. Home Counseling Online (HCO), a free online system, had been used previously. RX Office CMS was a relatively new online tool, designed to assist individuals and families in all phases of the homebuying process.

South Dakota Housing Development Authority:
Passive Building in South Dakota: Risk or Reward

South Dakota Housing Development Authority has always encouraged innovative approaches which are cost effective in providing affordable housing, including planning, design, construction, quality, energy efficiency, and financing. But with expanded interest from former Governor Dennis Daugaard, a four-pronged approach was forged to evaluate the risk versus the reward when it comes to passive building.

Tennessee Housing Development Agency:
Taking the Challenge

Born out of a desire to continue the unique, cooperative experience THDA had with the Jimmy & Rosalyn Carter Work Project with Habitat for Humanity that took place in Memphis in 2016, THDA developed the Challenge Grant Program to formalize a process for the solicitation, review, selection and funding of similar “out-of-the-box” housing opportunities in Tennessee.