Heartland Properties, Newbury Development win national excellence award for Albert Lea housing complex

Commemorative plaque and cash award to be presented at Capitol Hill ceremony May 14
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Heartland Properties, Inc., a subsidiary of Alliant Energy, and Newbury Development Company, are being awarded a 2002 Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award from the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition. This national award is in recognition of their success with Pickerel Park Townhomes, a multi-family housing development in Albert Lea, Minn.
Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Awards are presented annually to the most outstanding affordable housing tax credit developments in the United States. One award is presented in each of four housing categories - metropolitan, rural, special needs and senior citizen. Pickerel Park Townhomes is recognized in the rural category.
This year's Tax Credit Excellence Awards will be presented at a Capitol Hill ceremony in Washington, D.C. on May 14. Each award includes a commemorative plaque and a check for $5,000. The funds are to be used to further enhance the Pickerel Park property and resident amenities.
Pickerel Park Townhomes opened in April 2001. The $2.2 million complex includes 24, two- and three-bedroom apartment homes and features garages, surface parking and a playground. The development was selected for a Tax Credit Excellence Award based on its quality construction, affordability and significance in attracting businesses and working families to Freeborn County.
Russ Kaney, director of housing investments for Heartland Properties and James Levy, president of Newbury Development, will represent their respective organizations at the award ceremony.
According to Kaney, Pickerel Park was a collaborative effort. "Receiving the Tax Credit Excellence Award reinforces our partnership approach to creating quality housing options for low- and moderate-income families," says Kaney. "It's a gold star in the housing industry and we're delighted to receive recognition for a job well done. Our true success, however, is measured by the property's full occupancy and extensive waiting list."
Levy adds, "Pickerel Park Townhomes is an excellent example of what can be achieved when city, state and private entities work hand in hand. It's an honor to have the development recognized at a national level."
A five-judge panel comprised of representatives from various sectors of the housing community evaluated the prospective properties for the Tax Credit Excellence Awards. Eligible housing developments must have been placed in service on or after Jan.1, 2001. Other award criteria included: location of the property, services and programs provided to residents that encourage greater resident self-sufficiency, special design or aesthetic features, unique resident service facilities and extraordinary community-wide support for the establishment of the development.
Pickerel Park Townhomes was made possible through a $1.3 million investment by Alliant Energy through its affordable housing subsidiary, Heartland Properties, Inc. Additional financial support was provided by the Minnesota Housing Finance Authority, Minnesota Department of Trade and Economic Development, Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, Greater Jobs, Inc. of Albert Lea and the City of Albert Lea.
"Community leaders in Albert Lea recognized the need and value of a property like Pickerel Park early on," says Kaney. "Their commitment - financially and logistically - set the pace for and made this a unique and successful endeavor. It was rewarding to work with such a visionary group."
The Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition is a private, nonprofit organization of financing providers, government agencies, housing development organizations and others involved in providing affordable rental housing using federal housing tax credits. It is dedicated to educating the public about the benefits of the tax credit program, to upholding a standard of professional responsibility for program participants and to representing the interest of the tax credit community in the nation's capitol. This is the eighth year the Coalition will present Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Awards.

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