Enterprise and Bart Harvey, former chairman and CEO of Enterprise Community Investment, shared the Urban Land Institute's 2008 J.C. Nichols Prize for visionaries in urban development. The $100,000 prize recognizes a person or a person representing an institution whose career demonstrates a commitment to the highest standards of responsible development.

"Enterprise represents the more altruistic aspect of the development community," said ULI Nichols Prize jury chairman Jeremy Newsum, group chief executive for the Grosvenor Estate in London. "What it brings [to the land use industry] is an understanding of the less-advantaged society, and of the need for affordable housing, and expertise in how to create it."

Harvey played a critical role in the growth of Enterprise, which provides development capital and technical expertise to create quality affordable homes and rebuild communities. Harvey joined Enterprise in 1984, served as chairman and CEO of Enterprise Community Partners from 1994 to 2007, and then as chairman of Enterprise's board before retiring last March. During Harvey's tenure, Enterprise's commitment grew from $200 million supporting 5,000 affordable homes per year to more than $1 billion invested to create more than 20,000 units annually.

Harvey also was instrumental in launching Enterprise's Green Communities Initiative. "Bart literally transformed the field of affordable housing by leading the greening of the field," says Jonathan Rose, president of New York-based Jonathan Rose Cos. "There were many efforts at the greening of affordable housing, but only Bart was able to bring together the best thinkers and organizations in the country, conceptualize a framework that integrated design guidelines, technical assistance, financing, and execution, and then raise $550 million of capital to energize this framework." To date, Enterprise has committed more than $570 million to create more than 12,500 green and affordable homes.

Harvey is proud of Enterprise's inroads. "We've dispelled some myths about affordable housing," he said. "The first was that it was an uneconomical and financially risky investment and should be considered as a charitable write-off. Enterprise showed major financial institutions that this is a financially responsible investment. The second myth was that the housing we built would be trashed. The reality is virtually all our housing is more valuable now than when it was first built. It's a community asset.

"The third myth was that all Americans ought to be homeowners," Harvey continued. "They shouldn't. There is a critical role for rental housing in this country, and there are certain families that are just not ready to be homeowners. I'm very proud of the role Enterprise has played in affordable rental housing."