Pearl House in Lancaster Recognized for National Excellence in Affordable Housing

(Pearl House, a development for homeless families and children in Lancaster, Ohio Wins 22nd Annual Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award from Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition in Washington, D.C.)

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June 8, 2016 - OCCH is pleased to congratulate Fairfield Homes, Inc., recent winner of the 22nd Annual Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Awards (Special Needs Housing category) for Pearl House, a permanent supportive housing development in downtown Lancaster designed for parents in recovery from addiction with children who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Jennifer Walters, President of Fairfield Homes, Inc., accepted the award from Ohio’s United States Senator Sherrod Brown, who spoke of the importance of Peal House to the Lancaster community.

Presented to the most outstanding Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) properties in the country by the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition, the Edsons convene each year on Capitol Hill members of Congress, businesses and organizations to celebrate Housing Credit developments at the forefront of creating stronger, healthier communities in urban, suburban and rural areas nationwide.

The Housing Credit is America’s and Ohio’s primary tool for creating and preserving affordable housing, financing nearly all of the affordable rental homes, almost 3 million across the country, since it was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.

“Pearl House is an example of the power of supportive housing to help get former addicts on the right track, back into the workforce in recovery and living with their children, keeping families together,” said Rep. Steve Stivers (OH-15). “Congratulations to everyone involved in making Pearl House a resource for strengthening our community and on this well-deserved honor.”

“The Edson Awards recognize the Housing Credit’s ability to strengthen lives, communities and the economy, and this year’s winners remind us how vital the program is not only in Ohio but nationwide,” said Anthony J. Alfieri, president of the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition. “As the primary source of financing for affordable housing, the Housing Credit must be expanded to make more developments like Pearl House possible.”

“We are honored that Pearl House was recognized with an Edson Award as one of the most outstanding Housing Credit developments in the country,” said Jennifer Walters, President of Fairfield Homes, Inc., the developer, owner, contractor and managing agent for Pearl House. “The development serves as a stable and nurturing place where people can heal and rebuild from addiction to be positive forces in our community.”

Pearl House, which features 21 two-bedroom apartments, offers affordable housing, case management services, laundry facilities, community space, a playground, fitness room and on-site management. The development is located adjacent to the Recovery Center, which provides service coordination to the residents in alcohol, drug and mental health prevention, intervention and treatment services.

Development partners include the Community Action Program Commission of the Lancaster-Fairfield County Area, Fairfield Homes, Gorsuch Management and the Recovery Center. The $5.6 million development was financed primarily with Housing Credit equity provided by Huntington National Bank through Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing. Pearl House also received funding from the Housing Development Assistance Program through the Ohio Housing Trust Fund and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati Affordable Housing Program. The Lancaster Metropolitan Housing Authority provided 21 project-based Section 8 vouchers to the project, and The Corporation for Supportive Housing awarded a grant to develop a Good Neighbor Agreement with the surrounding community.

A panel of four judges selected seven first place winners and eleven honorable mentions for this year’s awards program. The Edson Awards, given annually by the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition, are named for Charles L. Edson, an affordable housing luminary who was Transition Director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on President Carter's Transition Staff. Mr. 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. He is a founding partner of the law firm Lane and Edson, and was later a partner of Nixon Peabody LLP.

Pearl House 2
Front Row:  Henry Walters, Jennifer Walters (President Fairfield Homes), Lucy Walters and Linda Gorsuch Back Row:  Guy Ford, Steven Walters, Jack Kukura, Congressman Sherrod Brown, Leonard Gorsuch (CEO Fairfield Homes), Kristin Kilbarger, Kellie Ailes (Dir LFCAA), and Chris Collins (Dir Dev Fairfield Homes)


Article courtesy of the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition

About the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition
Founded in 1988, AHTCC is a trade organization of housing professionals who advocate for affordable rental housing financed using the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit). Our for-profit and non-profit members—including syndicators, investors, lenders, developers, legal and accounting professionals and state allocating agencies—seek to preserve, expand and improve the Housing Credit and complementary programs through legislative outreach and education. Please visit to join or for more information.

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) was created as part of the Tax Reform Act of 1986.  Today, the Housing Credit is widely regarded as the nation’s most successful housing production program ever. The Housing Credit has financed nearly 3 million affordable apartments, supporting 96,000 jobs each year, mostly in the small-business sector.

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