On October 24, 2014, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Tewillinger Center for Housing recognized the cities of Pasadena, CA and Austin, TX with 2014 Ralph C. Larson Housing Policy Leadership Awards given for the nation’s most outstanding housing policies at its fall meeting in New York City.
The award recognizes exemplary state and local programs, policies, and practices which support the production, rehabilitation, or preservation of affordable and workforce housing. It honors state or local governmental agencies with innovative policy initiatives that provide ongoing and sustainable support for affordable and workforce housing. Specifically, these policies should support the creation and preservation of housing affordable to households earning at or below 120 percent of area median income.
Pasadena’s recognition was based on its housing policy and programs which have resulted in the development of over 5,000 housing units in transit-oriented areas, including 1,370 units of affordable and workforce housing. Pasadena’s commitment to its housing vision, community engagement, and informed dialog has produced a highly integrated and effective mix of goals, policies, and programs for its 2014-2021 housing element plan. Implementing a comprehensive set of policies, the city of Pasadena was aptly placed at the top of the State of California’s Department of Housing and Community Development “Housing Elements Best Practices” list. Policies, programs and tools mentioned in the application were Pasadena’s Inclusionary Housing and Density Bonus Ordinances, fee waivers for affordable housing, www.PasadenaHousingSearch.com, and Project HOUSED, the City’s housing first program for the chronically homeless.
The Robert C. Larson Housing Policy Leadership Awards program was created in 2011, with the purpose of honoring the legacy of the late Robert C. Larson, former ULI Foundation Chairman and longtime ULI trustee. The award’s criteria were structured so that it provides visibility to exemplary state or local governments that provide ongoing and sustainable support for the production, rehabilitation or preservation of workforce housing. Policy programs are judged on a number of factors, including impact on the supply of workforce housing, comprehensiveness of the tools and programs employed involvement of public-private partnerships, and the ability to leverage private and nonprofit funds, among other criteria.