Jamboree Housing Corporation Awarded Developer of The Year

Irvine, CA – Jamboree Housing Corporation (JHC) today announced that it won  Developer of the Year at the 2005 Affordable Housing Awards held in Garden Grove, California at the end of March. The awards are hosted by the Orange County Community Housing Corporation (OCCHC), the Affordable Housing Clearinghouse (AHC), and The Kennedy Commission. Laura Archuleta, president of JHC, accepted the award before a crowd of more than 200 civic, corporate and nonprofit leaders from throughout Orange County.

“We are honored to be recognized by OCCHC as a developer that exemplifies the best in affordable housing,” says Archuleta. “It reinforces our commitment to ‘lead by example’ in creating more affordable housing for families who might not otherwise have a safe, decent place to call home. It also emphasizes the importance of strategic alliances with the communities, developers and other nonprofits with whom we partner.” Archuleta acknowledged many of the civic, community and financial partners in the audience for their vital role in JHC’s founding vision and ongoing growth. “Garden Grove is where my career in affordable housing began when I served as a college intern. Like all of you, JHC and I are committed for the long-term,” she added.

According to OCCHC, the awards are an acknowledgement that no one organization or person can solve the problem of more affordable housing. But by various organizations working together, the goal of decent housing for all can be achieved. Along with the award, JHC received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from the U.S. House of Representatives for exemplary commitment, service and contribution to low-income families in Orange County.

This award comes on the heals of JHC’s 2005 Innovation in Workforce Housing Award for its newest community Montecito Vista Apartment Homes in the master-planned community of Irvine, California. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) launched the awards in 2004 to recognize the efforts of the home building industry to address the growing need for workforce housing nationwide. One of five communities recognized nationwide, Montecito Vista is the first 100% affordable rental development chosen as a winner. Archuleta received the award at the 2006 International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Florida in January.

Montecito Vista has garnered a steady flow of publicity from across the country – both for JHC and the City of Irvine – with the recent establishment of the Irvine Community Land Trust whose goal will be to make 10% of the City’s housing permanently affordable. “It stands as a leading example for other cities. If the City of Irvine can develop workforce housing projects – despite skyrocketing housing prices, long commutes and an ever-widening affordability gap  so can other cities,” commented William G. Vasquez, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, at Montecito’s Vista’s grand opening in November 2005.

“There is a continually growing need for more affordable housing in Orange County, which requires more housing in all price ranges to support future economic growth. We must continue to increase the range of high-quality, long-term workforce housing options. It enables families to live in their work communities, creates a better  jobs-and-housing balance and serves as a positive force on the family: shorter commutes, better schools, many opportunities often only afforded to those in higher income brackets, and more family and community time. Let’s continue to work together to further the cause of affordable housing for all,” says Archuleta.

Orange County Community Housing Corporation was established in 1977 to provide housing and related services to very low-income large families with special emphasis on extremely low-income large families. Today, with assets totaling more than $15,000,000, it owns and mages 225 units and continues to work on improving the quality of life for the working poor. More information is available on the company website at www.occhc.org.

The Affordable Housing Clearinghouse (AHC) is a network of lenders, community groups, and public agencies dedicated to the creation of quality affordable housing. Established in 1991, the AHC: 1) finances housing for low-income, very low-income and special-needs populations; 2) provides education on housing opportunities, issues, and needs, and 3) provides a forum for communication, partnerships, and innovative solutions addressing community needs. Nonprofit and for-profit housing developers have found financing much more accessible as a result of AHC’s activity. Millions of dollars have been underwritten and hundreds of housing units are more affordable as a result of AHC’s involvement.

The Kennedy Commission was formed in 1999 and named in honor of Ralph Kennedy, a pioneer of affordable housing and human rights advocacy in Orange County. Through an extensive network, the Kennedy Commission works at the local, state, and federal levels to provide education on housing needs and to help create public policy that results in the production of housing affordable to those earning less than $10/hour. The Kennedy Commission is an organizational vehicle for advocacy and education related to affordable housing in Orange County. It strives to develop solutions to housing needs, affirm the dignity of families of low- and extremely low-income and to unite communities across Orange County to support affordable housing development.

About Jamboree: Founded in 1990, Jamboree Housing Corporation is an award-winning, broad-based nonprofit housing development company that develops, acquires, renovates and manages a growing portfolio of more than 4,700 permanently affordable rental and ownership homes for families and seniors throughout California. JHC is one of the State’s leading nonprofit developers.

Housing with HEART (Helping Educate, Activate and Respond Together) is a 501 (c)(3) organization and an affiliate of Jamboree Housing Corporation. Currently, Housing with HEART programs and services are offered at 26 JHC communities. More information is available on the company’s Web sites at www.jamboreehousing.com and www.housingwithheart.org.

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