PAHA wins most distinguished award in LIHTC industry!

The Pueblo of Acoma Housing Authority (PAHA) recently finished building its first Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) development: three multifamily buildings (30 new units), a new community building and an outdoor recreation area on the Acoma Indian Reservation.

Yesterday, PAHA’s years of perseverance, dedication and hard work were recognized — with the most distinguished award in our industry!

PAHA LIHTC Homes #1, developed with the leadership of Executive Director Floyd Tortalita, was honored yesterday as this year’s Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award winner in the rural housing category at an awards ceremony in Washington, DC. It was a pleasure to attend, along with Travois project coordinator Trent Rogers, and see Floyd accept the award in front of a crowd of Congressional representatives, business and nonprofit leaders.

“Receiving the Edson Award is further validation of the importance we at PAHA placed on design, of incorporating the aesthetics of the pueblo architecture to create spaces to enhance community and tighten the social fabric,” said Floyd Tortalita. “The LIHTC program enabled us to leverage our resources to create a development that provides a foundation on which we are building to increase opportunity and strengthen the social and economic health of our community.”

This is the 24th year the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC) has administered the Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Awards. The award recognizes the most outstanding Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) properties in the country.

“The Edson Awards honor developments that harness the LIHTC program to strengthen America’s communities and provide homes that transform the lives of low-income families, veterans, seniors and people with special needs,” said Emily Cadik, AHTCC executive. “PAHA LIHTC Homes #1 exemplify why the LIHTC program is smart policy, and why Congress should expand and strengthen this proven tool to make more developments like it possible in New Mexico and nationwide.”

PAHA LIHTC Homes #1 (pictured above) has brought new homes to the Pueblo of Acoma for families to have safe and affordable housing. Meeting those basic needs has a ripple effect for many people in their community.

This development was intended to reflect the Pueblo of Acoma’s original dwellings built over 1,000 years ago. Building conventions have changed since Sky City was built, and so as the architect for the development, we approached the design as a modern translation of the original multifamily community atop the mesa. Outdoor spaces located on roofs and other horizontal surfaces created by the dwellings themselves are intended to foster gatherings for the residents and a sense of community rooted in shared history and culture.

“Native American communities, like many rural areas across the nation, are in dire need of safe and affordable housing options,” said Congressman Steve Pearce. “The Pueblo of Acoma Housing Authority has been a leader in New Mexico and nationally in innovative and creative methods to fill the pueblo’s housing need. PAHA’s use of the LIHTC program allowed the pueblo to develop housing for those in the community who are in greatest need, while also recognizing their history and heritage by creating a project that honors the pueblo’s original city. I congratulate the Pueblo of Acoma, PAHA and all its partners on this well-deserved recognition.”

In addition to housing, residents have free access to services including quarterly financial literacy trainings, workforce training, and homeownership education, all of which are available at the on-site community building. Outside the community building, residents can enjoy a picnic pavilion, bike and walking path, playground, open recreation space and a full-court basketball court. The development incorporates green building techniques and is expected to receive certification from Enterprise Green Communities, the first national framework for developing and operating green affordable homes.

We congratulate the Pueblo of Acoma Housing Authority and the Pueblo of Acoma Community and are so proud to be their partner!

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