2008 MFE Awards
Merit: Affordable

Submitted by: Crosland Even rural areas need affordable housing. The Southeastern Methodist Association for Rehabilitation (SEMAR) knew this because many of its members were at a time in their life where they needed to retire but had limited income. So SEMAR partnered with Crosland, a developer based in Charlotte, N.C., to build 100 affordable units.

The partners set out to build reasonably priced, durable units at Laurels of Junaluska in Waynesville, N.C. And in the end, they delivered a project that not only met those goals (a one-bedroom unit costs $337 a month) but was architecturally appealing as well. Residents get, on average, 765 square feet for a one-bedroom, which includes a corner sunroom, living room, galley kitchen, and washers and dryers. Units also boast views of the North Carolina mountains and an adjoining horse farm.

Most impressive, however, may have been the project's funding. It went through the untested process of mixed financing through HUD, as well as surviving a four-year process of federal and local scrutiny to get a HUD 202 grant and low-income housing tax credits. Eventually, Crosland started construction in July 2006.