2020 Housing Achievement Awards
& Children’s Essay Contest Presentation

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

In the Spring of 2020, HAND made the difficult decision to cancel the 29th Annual Meeting & Housing Expo due to the impacts of COVID-19. This was a tough decision, but the wellbeing and safety of our members is our top priority. The impacts of the pandemic reiterated the importance of our work and why affordable housing remains a crucial factor in creating equitable and thriving communities. Even in the midst of these unprecedented circumstances, it was important for us to pause and honor the incredible work that our members are doing across the Capital Region of Baltimore, Washington and Richmond.

In the absence of the Annual Meeting & Housing Expo, HAND presented the Housing Achievement Awards & Children’s Essay Contest on June 17th via webcast. This virtual ceremony honored organizations and individuals that have provided outstanding affordable housing projects, programs, and support for low- and moderate-income residents. The purpose of the Housing Achievement Awards remains to recognize creative, innovative approaches in the industry, which result in quality developments and programs.

This year also marked the first-ever Children’s Essay Contest! The competition was themed, If I Were the Mayor, and we were pleased to present the Grand Prize to Sharjae Dugger (Habitat America, LLC). Students were challenged to write about the kind of region they envision for their future, while reflecting on their own experiences and the legacy they would like to leave if held responsible for the outcomes for an entire jurisdiction. Sharjae shared how she would stand for fairness and the importance of recognizing black history. HAND thanks its sponsors for their generous support, and our members for their continued dedication to transformative change in our communities.

Congratulations to all of the 2020 Award Recipients!

Developer of the Year:
Alexandria Housing Development Corporation

AHDC completed an exciting year of development and preservation in 2019, closing the chapter on many of its long-developing projects and setting itself up for future success. It now operates 603 units, 277 of which were in service in calendar year 2019, including: The Nexus at West Alex, Lacy Court Apartments, and The Ellsworth.

In 2019, AHDC also continued work on innovative projects that have or will be complete in 2020: The Bloom and Carpenter’s Shelter, The Parkstone (FKA Avana Apartments).

Read more.

Best Large Affordable Housing Project:
HELP Walter Reed Veterans Apartments

The HELP Walter Reed Veterans Apartments (“HELP Walter Reed”) provides affordable permanent supportive housing (PSH) to 77 formerly homeless military veterans on what was once the Walter Reed Army Medical Center campus in Northwest Washington, D.C. The HELP Walter Reed project was developed and is owned by HELP Development Corporation, a non-profit organization. The HELP Walter Reed project is 100% affordable, with 75 units of permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless veterans at 30% AMI, and two units at 50% AMI.

Read more.

Emerging Leader:
Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones joined the real estate development team at Enterprise Community Development Corporation (formerly known as Community Preservation and Development Corporation) in 2012 as a Development Associate and is now a Senior Development Manager, having been promoted twice during her tenure. Her varied accomplishments included supporting the organization’s geographic expansion both into southern Virginia and Baltimore, Maryland. Jessica has infused her passion for sustainability to change the way the organization thinks about green building and operations. 

Read more.

Children’s Essay Contest:
Sharjae Dugger

Children’s Essay Contest Grand Prize Winner
Sharjae Dugger, Habitat America LLC


Special Guest Remarks


Thank you to our 2020 Housing Achievement Awards Judges 

Margaret McFarland
Clinical Professor Emeritus Founding Director, Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development, UMD

Ray Demers
Director of Design Leadership, Enterprise
Roy Priest
Commissioner, Housing Opportunities Commission



Thank you to our 2020 Sponsors

Annual Meeting Sponsors