B’nai B’rith Housing Wins 2011 MetLife Foundation Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing

B'nai B'rith Housing New England received a MetLife Foundation Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing for its work with the Covenant House in Brighton, Mass.

Brighton, Mass.—B’Nai B’rith Housing New England received a MetLife Foundation Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing for its work with the Covenant House in Brighton, Mass. This is a national award, presented by Enterprise Community Partners Inc. and MetLife Foundation, that is given to organizations that have shown outstanding leadership, innovation, effectiveness and quality operations and services in affordable senior housing.

The Covenant House is home to more than 300 low-income seniors and disabled adults.

“The MetLife Foundation Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing is designed to highlight sustainable and affordable housing models for independent senior housing with services, Melina Pollack, vice president of solutions, Enterprise Community Partners, tells MHN. “What we look for are innovative and replicable approaches to helping seniors age-in place within a green and healthy environment. We evaluated projects that have both green features and strong connections to resident services. B’nai B’rith impressed us by the depth and the breadth of their partnerships, combined with a genuine and deep concern for sustaining the health and safety of both their residents and their building through green enhancements.”

B’nai B’rith Housing was awarded $27 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Green Retrofit Program for Multifamily Housing, which allowed Covenant House residents to live in an energy-efficient home. Additionally, “the property has a ‘white roof,’ energy-efficient boilers, motion-sensor lighting and continues to engage and educate their residents on green practices through volunteerism and training,” Pollack says.

“In addition to its green, healthy housing outreaches, Covenant House stands out for its strong partnerships withservice providers throughout the Boston-area,” Pollack says. “Notably, they provide case management through an on-site social worker, and offer on-site arts therapy and wellness programs which are designed to assist the senior residents in keeping healthy and fit. We especially appreciated that they performed a resident needs assessment in 2008 to better explore how to provide services to help their seniors age-in-place.”

The win for B’nai B’rith is really a win for the entire community.

“By partnering with dozens of local institutions and service providers, we have been able to create the type of collaborative effort and dynamic community at Covenant House that promotes healthy aging for seniors that can be replicated on the national level,” Susan Gittelman, executive director, B’nai B’rith Housing New England said in a press statement.

Other winners this year of the MetLife Foundation Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing include Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, Ingleside Homes Inc. and PEP Housing.