The Council of State Community Development Agencies (COSCDA) recently announced recipients of its 2023 annual awards. Award winners were recognized during COSCDA’s 2023 Annual Conference held in Annapolis, Maryland.
Submissions were received and projects/individuals selected by COSCDA’s Awards Review Committee. Individual awards are detailed below.
Sterling Achievement Award – Community Development
Lafitte Greenway Project (Louisiana Office of Community Development)
Nestled in the heart of New Orleans, the Lafitte Greenway is a 2.6-mile walking and biking trail connecting six diverse neighborhoods. The trail routes through Section 8 public housing, Tremé (one of the oldest African American neighborhoods in the city and nation), and finally, into the bustling French Quarter. Now a leading model of post-Katrina sustainable storm water management, the Lafitte Greenway was one of the first major public infrastructure projects in New Orleans after Katrina. The project serves approximately 20,000 residents. More information is available here.
Sterling Achievement Award – Disaster Recovery
Bottle Loft Arts (Louisiana Office of Community Development)
Bottle Loft Arts in Lafayette, Louisiana is a 105-unit affordable housing development for artists. Readapted from the formerly vacant Coca Cola bottling building as well as vacant warehouse and motel adjacent to the facility, the community is a leader in the state for incorporating and heeding disaster-resilient and sustainable design, construction, and operating practices. The second phase of the development (65 units) is the first multifamily project in the state to secure a FORTIFIED Gold Certification by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. The project is also Enterprise Green Communities certified with a heightened focus on energy and water efficiency and overall community well-being. More information is available here.
Sterling Achievement Award – Homelessness
Liberty View (Colorado Department of Local Affairs)
Liberty View in Aurora, Colorado is an independent living facility designated for senior veterans. The property features one building with 49 one-bedroom and 10 two-bedroom units. The building’s layout and location connect residents to several amenities both on-site and in the surrounding area; these include a community space, common kitchen, workout room, and computer lab and library. The property is more broadly centered in a health care innovation district, is adjacent to bus stops, and within walking distance of a light rail station. More information is available here.
Sterling Achievement Award – Housing
New Horizons Village (Connecticut Department of Housing)
New Horizons Village (NHV) in Farmington, Connecticut recently added 22 new one-bedroom units and accommodated energy efficiency upgrades in existing residences. NHV provides affordable ADA-compliant housing with added support services to 101 adults with physical disabilities. More information is available here. The completed upgrades improved the thermal efficiency of the building envelope’s functionality, accessibility, and safety for the 101 residents. The addition of the 22 units made it possible to positively impact the lives of 44 residents to realize independent living and supportive care services. More information is available here.
Presidential Award for Innovation
CDBG-CV Food Insecurity Program (Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities)
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts directed COVID-19 resources to address food insecurity throughout the state. Funds supported locally-grown foods in low-and-moderate income communities. In addition to this direct benefit, grants fostered student engagement, community collaboration, and education. An anticipated two to four tons worth of crop yield annually will be donated and sold to community nonprofits, and 170 youth and adult learners will be educated annually. Revenue earned from excess crop sales is utilized to sustain the program. More information is available here.
James Reeves Member Contribution Award
Pat Forbes, Louisiana Office of Community Development
David Bowman, Colorado Department of Local Affairs
Pat Forbes is executive director of Louisiana’s Office of Community Development. The office administers federal resources including U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) disaster recovery and mitigation funding.
Dave Bowman serves as Deputy Director of the Division of Local Government with the Colorado Department of Local Government. The Division of Local Government provides various technical and financial resources related to land use planning, economic development, and sustainable community development.
Forbes and Bowman are recognized for initiating COSCDA’s disaster recovery committee and elevating disaster recovery into a major track within the association’s advocacy, training, and peer-to-peer engagement.
For questions or media inquiries, please contact Dianne Taylor, COSCDA’s Executive Director at [email protected].
ABOUT: The Council of State Community Development Agencies (COSCDA) is a national association representing state agencies dedicated to housing and community development. COSCDA members administer resources provided through the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Office of Community Planning and Development (HUD-CPD). States target investments supporting infrastructure, affordable housing, disaster recovery, homelessness initiatives, and job and business development among other activities benefitting low-to-moderate income populations.