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The Home Depot Foundation Awards Madison Area Community Land Trust and Mercy Housing Lakefront for Affordable, Sustainable Housing

Published 09-17-08

Submitted by The Home Depot

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Home Depot(R) Foundation today announced Madison Area Community Land Trust (CLT) and Mercy Housing Lakefront of Chicago are the winners of the fourth annual Awards of Excellence for Affordable Housing Built Responsibly at a ceremony held at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The Awards of Excellence program was created to inspire non-profit housing developers by recognizing and showcasing outstanding examples of affordable, sustainably built homes.

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The Madison Area CLT, led by executive director Greg Rosenberg, won first place and $75,000 in the Homeownership Project category for its Troy Gardens initiative, a 31-acre urban infill development. The community features a mixed-income co-housing property supported by agriculture with an organic farm and garden. The homes incorporate numerous green features, such as energy efficient appliances, low-flow fixtures, solar panels, rain barrels and bike paths. The Madison, Wisc.-based project furthers the Madison Area CLT's mission of making greenspace and livable communities accessible to people of modest means.

Mercy Housing Lakefront, under the leadership of CEO Cindy Holler in Chicago, won first place and $75,000 in the Rental Project category for its Margot and Harold Schiff Residences development. The 96-unit residence serves formerly homeless and/or disabled individuals and is located on the redeveloped Cabrini Green property where public housing buildings have been torn down. The Chicago-based community is also Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) Silver certified, generates a portion of its own power through wind turbines and is the first residence in the area to utilize a gray water system.

"We have seen firsthand how increasing access to housing that is healthy and affordable not just to move into, but to live in, changes people's lives," said Kelly Caffarelli, president, The Home Depot Foundation. In its first five years, The Home Depot Foundation granted $70 million to nonprofit organizations and supported the development of more than 50,000 affordable, healthy homes. "The projects being recognized today are among our nation's most outstanding examples of affordable, sustainable communities that bring real savings in energy, transportation and maintenance costs to families."

The Home Depot Foundation also today presented its Visionary Award for Outstanding Leadership in Affordable Housing Built Responsibly to S. Richard Fedrizzi, president, CEO & founding chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council. Under Fedrizzi, the USGBC has piloted and launched a residential green building standard, which brings the long-term cost savings of responsible building to families of all incomes.

"Under Rick's leadership, the Council has undertaken a far-reaching agenda that has tripled its membership, broadened its influence, and cemented its role as a leadership voice in the global sustainability movement," said Bruce Merino, senior vice president of merchandising, The Home Depot, and chair, The Home Depot Foundation. "We applaud Rick's continuing efforts to ensure that buildings of all types, including affordable homes, are being built to the LEED standard."

From more than 50 applicants, 10 award submissions were selected as finalists and reviewed and debated by an independent advisory committee comprised of experts in the fields of environmental science and sustainable community development, including representatives from Global Green, Forest Stewardship Council, Citizens Housing Corporation, Community Housing Partners, Housing Assistance Council, Florida Community Loan Fund, Tellus Institute, THW Design, William McDonough + Partners, Building Knowledge, and Southface.

In addition to the winners, three nonprofit partners were presented with runner-up and honorable mention awards. In total, through the awards The Home Depot Foundation is awarding more than $200,000 to support affordable, sustainable housing initiatives across the country.

Award Recipients:

  • Homeownership Project Category
    • Winner ($75,000) - The Madison Area Community Land Trust (Madison, WI)
    • Runner-up ($25,000) - Kulshan Community Land Trust (Bellingham, WA)

  • Rental Project Category
    • Winner ($75,000) - Mercy Housing Lakefront (Chicago, IL)
    • Runner-up ($25,000) - Community HousingWorks (San Diego, CA)
    • Honorable Mention ($2,500) - Capital Hill Housing (Seattle, WA)

The overarching goals of the Awards of Excellence program is not only to celebrate the achievements of local organizations, but also to provide opportunities for The Home Depot Foundation's nonprofit partners - both new and existing - to share their experiences, key learnings, challenges and best practices. For more information and to view case studies of past award recipients, visit www.homedepotfoundation.org/award_winners.html.

Information about the Awards of Excellence application process for 2009 will be available in November at www.homedepotfoundation.org.

About The Home Depot Foundation
The Home Depot Foundation was created in 2002 to further the community building goals of The Home Depot. The Home Depot Foundation is dedicated to building affordable homes for working families that are healthy to live in and affordable to own. To make homes healthy and affordable, the Foundation encourages developers to incorporate responsible design and use durable and quality materials to ensure that homes are more energy and water efficient, have good indoor air quality, and provide a safe and healthy space to live. Since its formation, The Home Depot Foundation has granted $70 million to nonprofit organizations and supported the development of more than 50,000 affordable, healthy homes. For more information, visit www.homedepotfoundation.org.

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