Larry Curtis has tapped into a handful of National Housing and Rehabilitation Association events each year since joining Boston-based WinnDevelopment 22 years ago as a project manager, overseeing affordable housing and historic redevelopment projects. “Right from the beginning, I got involved in NHRA,” he says. “It’s the premier association for the affordable housing industry.” At its 2009 annual board meeting in Key Largo, Fla., the NHRA elected Curtis—now on the WinnCos.’ board of directors and managing partner of WinnDevelopment—to serve as the association’s president. He is eager to use his tenure to force progressive changes in the affordable sector. “We need to create programs that meet public policy goals,” he says. “I welcome the opportunity to make arguments for legislative actions that result in those programs.”
One of Curtis’ immediate areas of focus is to promote “instant housing,” the incorporation of older and/or distressed multifamily inventory into the nation’s affordable housing stock.
Migrating existing stock into affordable housing inventories can be accomplished at a third to half of the cost of building new developments, Curtis says. This process also touches on one of the developer’s other primary talents: the adaptive reuse of existing housing. “Whether it’s an old historic mill or repositioning a fractured condo deal, it’s about seeing the end results of historic housing, energy-efficient designs, and resident lives benefiting in an unbelievably positive way.”