Jackson names three local housing developments recipients of 2007 Best in American Living Award

    Virginia, California and Texas developments recognized as national models for design excellence

    WASHINGTON – February 11, 2008 – Three local housing developments in Blacksburg, Virginia; Palm Desert, California; and Denton Texas are the recipients of the 2007 Best in American Living Award for their design excellence and innovative approaches in affordable homeownership. U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson said each of the distinctive developments is the product of a cooperative public/private venture to expand homeownership opportunities for underserved American families.

    Each year, Professional Builder Magazine and the National Association of Home Builders sponsor the Best in American Living Awards to recognize innovation in a wide variety of building and design categories. HUD helps to select those unique housing developments that demonstrate particular excellence in creating affordable homeownership through public and private collaboration.

    The Roanoke and Lee Street Housing in Blacksburg, Virginia; Falcon Crest in Palm Desert, California; and Nevada Court in Denton Texas will receive their awards on February 12th at the 24th Annual BALA Awards Ceremony in Orlando, Florida.

    “These housing developments are proof that lower income families can hope to find the best quality homes with cutting-edge features and at a price they can afford,” said Jackson. “I’m pleased to recognize these three developments and hope they can be seen as a model for other builders across the country.”

    Blacksburg, Virginia

    The distinctive aspect of the Roanoke and Lee Street Housing Project’s application is the quality of the infill project in maximizing funding sources to subsidize the construction costs and to purchase financing; using green, sustainable building materials and systems; using Energy-Star materials and achieving Energy-Star home rating to reduce the utility consumption and impact on the environment; using water conservation and minimizing construction waste; quality of the design in the context of the existing neighborhood that targets homebuyers with incomes of less than 60 percent of the area median income (AMI).

    The home was offered at $173,500, which is below the median home price of the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) of $188,900. Nine of the 14 homes in the development were available at this price range. The project received a Gold Award for innovation in both technology and financing.

    Palm Desert, California

    The Falcon Crest Project’s application was recognized for utilizing Energy-Star materials to achieve a superb Energy-Star home rating reducing the utility consumption and impact of the environment; water conservation and minimized construction waste by utilizing panel construction; excellence in quality of the design included efficiency in layout, providing universal design although not required, and aesthetic excellence in the unit itself as well as in the context of the existing neighborhood.

    The project targets homebuyers in the 70 to 120 percent of the AMI. The home was offered at $199,000, which is well below the median home price of the MSA of $380,000. Twenty of the 93 homes in the development were available at this price. The project received a Gold Award for innovation in both technology and design.

    Denton, Texas

    Nevada Court’s “High Performance Affordable Homes” employ energy-efficient technologies and durable materials resulting in a guaranteed utility consumption of approximately $50 a month and an Energy-Star rating almost twice that typically seen for a home of this size. The application’s development technique maximized funds and could be replicated across the country.

    The project targets homebuyers below 80 percent of the AMI. The home was offered at $135,000, which is below the median home price of the MSA of $178,000. Five of the 14 homes in the development were available at this price.

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    HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.

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