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2015 Award Winners

James Reeves Member Contribution Award

Indiana - Kathleen Weissenberger



Kathleen Weissenberger


2015 COSCDA Presidential Award for Innovation

Rutherford House - Lancaster-Fairfield Community Action Agency/Ohio Development Services Agency



Rutherford HouseRutherford House


The project is named in honor of Edward and Maxine 1971, Rutherford, superintendent and matron of the Home from 1954- whose leadership and guidance made a positive contribution to the lives of hundreds of orphaned youth.

Rutherford House was completed by the Lancaster/Fairfield Community Action Agency (LFCAA )in Lancaster, Ohio. The 25-acre campus provides permanent supportive housing units for extremely low-income homeless households that have at least one family member with a special need. The 16 supportive housing units of Rutherford House on the LFCAA campus provide residents with immediate access to a broad range of supportive services to help them regain housing stability and make significant strides toward achieving self-sufficiency.

The architectural design for the adaptation creatively utilized space and preserved many aesthetically pleasing historic elements. The project's successful completion required teamwork, perseverance and strong partnerships. The ability to bring in the multiple funding sources was also the direct result of strong partnerships.

In accordance with restrictive covenant required by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, the project will maintain the affordable rent status for 30 years. LFCAA utilized its existing staff with minimal assistance from private consultants. In preparing the project, the staff completed extensive housing-skills training sponsored by ODSA and OHFA.

Since December, many residents are already making progress. All have developed a service plan outlining individual goals, established a household budget and participated in activities to increase life skills. Nine have increased their household income.

2015 COSCDA Sterling Achievement Award for Homelessness

Ending Veteran Homelessness - State of Delaware.



Ending Veteran Homelessness - State of DelawareEnding Veteran Homelessness - State of Delaware


Last year, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the National League of Cities called on mayors across the country to make a commitment to end Veteran homelessness in their cities in 2015.

While the Mayors Challenge targeted cities and towns, Governor Jack Markell took the unusual step of joining the Challenge and expanded it to encompass the ending of Veteran homelessness in the entire state. In January 2015, he charged Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) Director and Delaware Health and Social Services Secretary to develop a plan to end Veteran homelessness in our state by the end of the year. Delaware's Plan to End Veteran Homelessness in 2015 was unveiled on May 4, 2015, and lays out a plan and approach to coordinate and prioritize federal and state resources to end homelessness among Veterans.

The development of state Interagency Council on Homelessness and 10-Year Plans to End Homelessness brought together critical partners to plan to end homelessness, not just shelter the homeless. This step-by-step effort will make meaningful and visible strides in reducing the number of homeless people, and give us confidence in the feasibility of the goal of ending homelessness. To end Veteran homelessness in Delaware, the goal was to both ensure that Veterans who are currently homeless are placed in permanent housing, and make policy and other changes to ensure that Veterans who present as homeless or at risk of homelessness in the future are housed as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Two strategies in the State Plan are to 1) work with the VA to identify HUD-VASH voucher holders who may no longer need the intensive supportive services associated with the program; and 2) work with Public Housing Authorities, including DSHA, to transition those voucher-holders to regular Housing Choice Vouchers, thus freeing up HUD-VASH vouchers for other chronically homeless Veterans needing the permanent supportive housing and services.

2015 COSCDA Sterling Achievement Award for Housing

State of Alaska - Teacher, Health Professional, and Public Safety Housing Grant Program



State of Alaska - Teacher, Health Professional, and Public Safety Housing Grant ProgramState of Alaska - Teacher, Health Professional, and Public Safety Housing Grant Program


Remote Alaskan communities face significant challenges in the delivery of education, health care, and public safety services. The lack of these services can have a compounding toll on the community. With a significant number of villages taking steps to correct these deficiencies, critical yet basic services cannot be provided or maintained until housing can be addressed. Providing housing to these professionals creates opportunities for access and placement in remote communities while also promoting longevity of service. However, if housing is not made available, communities will be left with insufficient services and entities will continue to face poor recruitment, high turnover, and inexperienced staff.

The objective of this program is to provide {local governments, tribal councils, non-profits, school districts, health corporations, native corporations, regional housing authorities, and other various public service oriented organizations} gap funding for the development of workforce rental housing to attract and maintain qualified teachers, health professionals, and public safety personnel in remote communities.

Since the program's inception in 2004, the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation Teacher, Health Professional, and Public Safety Housing Grant Program, along with previous and current partnerships that include the Denali Commission and the Rasmuson Foundation, have injected $88M into 101 developments throughout the state. The program has leveraged an additional $40M in matching funds, for a total of $128M. In its 11 year history, 418 units of housing have been developed in 74 communities. Energy efficient building designs and technologies have been incorporated. Local labor and construction training opportunities in economically distressed zones have been created. Mixed use developments have been explored. While there are many benefits from this program, both specified and residual, the core purpose of the program has had a direct impact on communities. Teachers are extending their contracts due to the newly constructed housing units. Health professionals are now able to travel to and stay in remote villages. The response time for first responders has been reduced. Ultimately, the quality of services will continue to spread and improve and so will the future promise of Alaskans statewide.

2015 COSCDA Sterling Achievement Award for Community Development

State of Nebraska, Department of Economic Development - City Impact Homes & City Impact Center Program



State of Nebraska, Department of Economic Development for the City Impact Homes & City Impact Center ProgramState of Nebraska, Department of Economic Development for the City Impact Homes & City Impact Center Program


Through strong collaboration, forward thinking, and leadership the non-profit organization City impact was able to create a significant community development project that involved the redevelopment of a distressed and underutilized area of Lincoln, Nebraska which included both housing and public services for persons in the community. This project has been called City Impact Homes and City Impact Center.

In 2013, City Impact completed their housing goal, called City Impact Homes, through the construction of 14 affordable housing units (six duplex-style townhomes and two single-family homes) - all newly constructed - on three acres of land located on Overland Trail between 33rd and 31st Streets in Lincoln, Nebraska. In coordination with Excel Development, City Impact developed additional housing for low income persons, particularly housing for large families in the need of 4 and 5 bedroom units. Funding for the housing portion of the project included: over $822,000 in HOME funds from DED; $230,000 from Horizon Bank; private equity funds of $300,000 from City Impact; $112,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka; City of Lincoln HOME funds of $250,000; and low income housing tax credit equity from NIFA. The overall total project costs for the housing portion of the project totaled over $4,354,000 in resources.

In 2015, City Impact completed the addition of their 24,000 square foot City Impact Center which not only serves the residents of the City Impact units, but also serves the many neighborhoods throughout Lincoln that primarily house the urban poor and underprivileged. The new center also serves as City Impact's new headquarters. The Center provides a number of services that include: youth leadership, after school education, tutoring, and mentoring, adult learning, education, ESL, and counseling; early childhood learning; art; breakout rooms for seminars, health and nutrition seminars, and many other programs. Funding for the first phase of the $4.5 million City Impact Center included capital contributions from the public; resources from local businesses; and other support throughout the state.