55+ Housing Council Recognizes Senior Housing Programs and Contributors

The 55+ Housing Council, part of the Building Industry Association of Southern California, recently announced its winners of the annual SAGE Awards, which recognize individuals, projects and programs that have contributed to enhancing the quality of life of Southern California residents aged 55 and older.

Now in its 17th year, the program’s four categories are Person of the Year, Program of the Year, Project of the Year, and an “On the Boards” category.

The “Person of the Year” award went to Graham Espley-Jones, the president of Western Community Housing, Inc., in recognition of his contributions to 55+ housing in SoCal, dating back more than 20 years. Espley-Jones’ senior housing connections have resulted in participating in the development of more than 10,000 senior housing units.

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Under his guidance during the past nine years, he has overseen the exponential growth of Western’s affordable housing portfolio from ownership interests in five affordable apartment communities to more than 80 communities, financed with more than $850 million in tax credits and other affordable funding sources.

“Program of the Year” went to the Laguna Woods Village Social Services Department, which was implemented and managed by Professional Community Management (PCM).  The Social Services department has been instrumental to the community for nearly four decades, serving as a “safety net” for residents as four full-time social workers coordinate free counseling, support groups, education, and emotional and social support.

There are two winners for the “Project of the Year” award: the SEASONS at Compton (LINC Housing, a special needs senior affordable community) and Mirandela Senior Apartments in Rancho Palos Verdes (AMCAL, an affordable rental community).

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The “On the Boards” SAGE award recognizes residential communities still in design stages, and was won this year by 5555 Hollywood, a transit-oriented mixed-use affordable senior housing apartment.

Award winners will be honored at the SAGE Awards event on Nov. 3, 2011; more information is available here.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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