LA County Affordable Property Wins Edson Award

Azusa Apartments has been named a winner.

Azusa, Calif.—Azusa Apartments, an affordable housing property in Azusa in LA County, has been named a winner in the HUD Preservation Property category at the 21st Annual Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Awards. The Edson Awards are presented to outstanding Low-Income Housing Tax Credit properties nationwide by the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition.

Azusa Apartments was originally financed with funds from HUD in 1971. When the original owner put the property up for sale, the department’s ability to restrict the rents there could have disappeared. In 2013, however, Community Housing Works acquired and completely renovated the property and its 88 apartments, modernizing the units and keeping them affordable for the existing residents.

The 2013 $30 million acquisition and rehab, financed in part with $12 million in housing credits through investor Union Bank, also achieved a 27 percent improvement in energy efficiency and a 34 percent reduction in water consumption.  In addition to the updated apartments, residents now enjoy amenities such as an organic garden, a renovated community building offering homework support and tutoring for children, a computer lab and financial literacy classes for adults.

A panel of five judges selected seven first-place finishers and seven honorable mentions for this year’s awards program. The Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition represents syndicators, developers, lenders, institutional investors, nonprofit groups, public agencies, and other allied professionals—including accountants, lawyers, and compliance specialists—concerned with the housing credit program.

The awards are named for Charles L. Edson, an affordable housing luminary who was transition director for HUD on President Carter’s transition staff. Edson served in the Office of the General Counsel at HUD and was for nearly 40 years co-editor-in-chief of Housing and Development Reporter.