On April 25, 2013, Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation (Rainbow) hosted its 1st Annual Awards Banquet honoring those in the affordable housing industry who are making a lasting impact and empowering social change. Over 100 leaders from every aspect of affordable housing were in attendance to help Rainbow serve its mission in the coming year.
The Arizona Grand Resort and Spa was the host hotel for the day’s activities treating guests to Four Diamond accommodations, an award-winning golf course, and a world-class spa. In total, there were 17 foursomes that took to the course for Rainbow’s 6th Annual Play It Forward Golf Tournament. In addition to the tournament, guests had several other networking opportunities including a Riverstone Residential sponsored breakfast and Mengali Accountancy sponsored networking hour prior to the banquet.
The main focus of the event was the evening’s Awards Banquet where Rainbow recognized exceptional leadership in preserving affordable housing. The awardees were as follows:
- Resident Services Collaborator of the Year: Barbara Johnson. Mrs. Johnson serves the residents of Caswyck Trail in Atlanta, Georgia and has built partnerships with dozens of local for-profit and charitable organizations to enhance the lives of Caswyck’s residents. Most recently, Mrs. Johnson brokered a partnership with The Renaissance Group who focuses on mental and behavioral health issues. A perfect match to Rainbow’s mission, Renaissance helps both adults and youth get the full benefit of medical care available to residents in need.
- Resident Services Coordinator of the Year: Shelva Cox. Mrs. Cox is the Resident Services Coordinator at Rush Creek in Arlington, Texas. Her willingness to support the residents and other coordinators has earned her this top honor this year. Mrs. Cox has been invaluable to the organization helping train new coordinators at locations that have hired Rainbow to provide services. Her work at Rush Creek recently garnered a resident notoriety from the Tenant Area Food Bank, connecting this mother of four diagnosed with breast cancer to services that helped the family weather their financial storm.
- Community Re-Development of the Year: Julie Hyatt, Hope Development. Rainbow and Hope are currently engaged in the rehabilitation of an affordable housing project in Phoenix, Arizona. Construction at Villas at Pasadena will complete this summer at which point Rainbow will begin providing a wide range of services to the residents there. Mrs. Hyatt’s proven ability to develop, construct, and operate quality, affordable housing has been seen in the states of Idaho and New Mexico as well.
- Innovative Service-Enriched Housing Partner: Capstone Real Estate Services. As part of last year’s annual Back-to-School Backpack Drive, Capstone’s COO Hugh Cobb issued an internal challenge to their onsite property managers. This challenge resulted in managers working even harder to provide supplies for Rainbow to offer to residents, ensuring that students are prepared and fully equipped at the beginning of the school year.
- Affordable Community Project of the Year: Michael Costa, Highridge Costa Companies. For nearly three decades, Mr. Costa has been developing and financing workforce housing across the country. Currently, the company’s portfolio consists of approximately 27,000 units in more than 275 communities, ranking consistently as 1 of the country’s top 10 multifamily developers and owners. Highridge’s particular focus on workforce housing and the importance placed on providing quality housing earned recognition from Rainbow and others.
- Community Partner of the Year: Centerline Capital Group. For the second year in a row, Megan Goodfellow from Centerline was in attendance to accept this award. Centerline is a tremendous partner with Rainbow and has helped the organization expand its footprint in Georgia and Texas. Centerline continues to be a strong advocate for providing supportive social services and understands the critical role they play in affordable communities.
Rainbow would like to offer its sincerest thanks to all of our event sponsors, including Title Sponsor CohnReznick.