Jamboree Wins National Award For Innovation In Workforce Housing

Irvine, CA – Jamboree Housing Corporation (JHC) today announced that its newest community – Montecito Vista Apartment Homes in Irvine, California – won the 2005 Innovation in Workforce Housing Awards. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) launched the awards in 2004 to recognize the efforts of the home building industry to address the growing need for workforce housing nationwide. JHC’s president, Laura Archuleta, received the award at the 2006 International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Florida earlier this month.

“We are honored to be recognized by the NAHB as one of five communities nationwide that exemplify the best in affordable housing and, in particular, to be the first 100% affordable rental development chosen as a winner,” says Archuleta. “It reinforces our commitment to ‘lead by example’ in creating more affordable housing for families who might not otherwise have a safe, decent place to call home. It also emphasizes the importance of strategic alliances with the communities, developers and other nonprofits with whom we partner.”

Archuleta recognized the County of Orange, the City of Irvine, U.S. Bank, and The Irvine Company for their vital role in making Montecito Vista such an innovative example. William G. Vasquez, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, concurred at the community’s grand opening in November 2005. “Montecito Vista stands as a leading example for other cities. If the City of Irvine can develop workforce housing projects – despite skyrocketing housing prices, long commutes and an ever-widening affordability gap – so can other cities.”

Communities that exemplify “workforce housing,” identified by NAHB as providing decent and affordable homes for nurses, police officers, schoolteachers, retail workers, and more, near areas in which they work, were eligible for the award. The award is open to builders, architects, designers, developers and land planners across the country. Judged for architecture, design, construction quality and cost efficiency, site-related, regulatory and/or financial challenges overcome, and level of cooperation among various stakeholders (i.e., builder, developer, local and state government, area residents, etc.), JHC’s award-winning Montecito Vista Apartment Homes were selected by a panel of builders, multifamily and land development experts, and other industry professionals.

“The shortage of workforce housing affects communities, it affects employers, and most importantly, it affects families,” said Bobby Rayburn, immediate past president of NAHB. “These awards give us a chance to recognize people who have worked hard to meet this important need. And they enable us to showcase successful workforce housing developments that can serve as models for other communities. Myhope is that these awards will provide inspiration for community leaders, policy makers, builders and developers and the many other people who can help make workforce housing happen in their communities,” Rayburn continued.

Montecito Vista offers 84 two-bedroom, one-bath and 78 large three-bedroom, two-bath apartments (162 total units), incorporating the same high-quality finishes and materials as market-rate communities. The apartments are built in a cluster of seven three-story, garden-style walk-up buildings that are compatible with existing homes in the surrounding neighborhood.

Montecito Vista exceeds Title 24 standards by more than 15%, lowering energy consumption and providing another cost-saving benefit to residents. The complex is adjacent to a new state-of-the-art high school and conveniently located to major employment centers, shopping, entertainment, public transit, parks and recreation.

“There is a continually growing need for more affordable housing in Orange County, which requires more housing in all price ranges to support future economic growth. Montecito Vista increases the range of high-quality, long-term workforce housing options. It enables families to live in their work communities, creates a better jobs-and-housing balance and serves as a positive force on the family: shorter commutes, better schools, many opportunities often only afforded to those in higher income brackets, and more family and community time. With the Innovation in Workforce Housing Award, we hope that other communities across  the country will follow suit and further the cause of affordable housing for all,” says Archuleta.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is a Washington-based trade association representing more than 220,000 members involved inhome building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. Known as “the voice of the housing industry,” NAHB is affiliated with more than 800 state and local homebuilders’ associations around the country. NAHB’s builder members will construct about 80 percent of the more than 1.93 million new housing units projected for 2006, making housing one of the largest engines of economic growth in the country.

About Jamboree: Founded in 1990, Jamboree Housing Corporation is an award-winning, broad-based nonprofit housing development company that develops, acquires, renovates and manages permanently affordable rental and ownership housing for lower-income families and seniors throughout California. Housing with HEART (Helping Educate, Activate and Respond Together) is a 501 (c)(3) organization and an affiliate of Jamboree Housing Corporation. JHC is one of California’s leading nonprofit developers with an ownership interest in 4,700 affordable rental apartment homes throughout the State. Currently, Housing with HEART programs and services are offered at 26 JHC communities with designated staff at 18 locations. More information is available on the company’s Web sites at www.jamboreehousing.com and www.housingwithheart.org.

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