Portfolio Partner Profile
Preservation of Affordable Housing
Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve and steward affordable rental housing to provide stability, hope and economic security to low- and moderate-income individuals and families. POAH has rescued and restored some of America’s most ‘at risk’ rental housing. POAH owns and operates more than 13,000 affordable rental apartments at more than 130 properties in 11 states and the District of Columbia.
POAH is known nationally for its ability to develop innovative financing structures and to close complex deals which preserve long-term housing affordability for seniors, individuals with disabilities and families priced out of the housing market. POAH has also successfully influenced a range of public policies to address the nation’s housing preservation challenges. Calvert Impact Capital's financing helps POAH move quickly to acquire and preserve affordable properties that are at risk of being converted to market-rate housing or other uses.
POAH recently released the Trauma-Informed Housing Toolkit, a playbook for advancing equity in affordable rental housing. This toolkit is designed for owners, resident service providers, property management companies, architects and interior designers, funders and policy makers and community residents. Explore the Trauma-Informed Housing Toolkit.
Featured Impact Story
Flat 9 Redevelopment
The Flat 9 at Whittier redevelopment is a collaboration between POAH, Madison Park Development Corporation and the Boston Housing Authority to redevelop the Whittier Street Apartments site in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. Originally built in the early 1950s, the Whittier Apartments were home to 200 public housing families. Flat 9 at Whittier is an attractive, sustainable rental, and homeownership development in a neighborhood that is rich in amenities and is home to some of Boston’s anchor educational, civic, and cultural institutions. Residents and community stakeholders were involved in the renaming of the site to Flat 9 at Whittier and in the naming of Tenor Lane. The name Flat 9, a musical chord, and Tenor Lane, speak to the deep jazz roots that once spilled into what is now Tremont Street.
The development creates a livable site with outdoor play spaces, a mix of building types to accommodate diverse family needs, and new streets to re-integrate the site into the broader neighborhood. In December 2016, HUD awarded a $30 million Choice grant to support the housing development and the surrounding neighborhood. POAH’s participation in the Choice Neighborhood Initiative and in Roxbury is not limited to the built environment, but also to the health and resilience of the residents who are the Flat 9 at Whittier community. POAH's property management company has provided COVID-19 support, housing stability, education support, and events and services for residents from the start and Flat 9 at Whittier was a pilot site for POAH’s Designing Trauma Resilient Communities Project.
In 2020, the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC) awarded Flat 9 at Whittier the Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award in the HUD Housing Preservation category recognizing affordable housing developments that have demonstrated especially impactful use of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. Phase one of the redevelopment was completed in January 2020 with 92 units offering 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartments, along with amenities such as a community lounge and a playground. Phase two was completed in December 2021, with 52 units offering 1-,3-and 4-bedroom apartments, along with shared community spaces. Phase three began construction in January 2023.
Once all three phases are completed, the redevelopment will replace 200 public housing apartments with 210 deeply affordable units and create 262 additional units of mixed-income rental housing and 14,000 square feet of commercial space.
Affordable housing preservation with community buy-in
In 2008, at the invitation of concerned residents, Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) acquired the former Grove Parc Apartments, a 504-unit Section 8 housing development between Chicago’s 60th and 63rd Streets in Woodlawn that was marked for closure. Where buildings targeted for evictions and foreclosure once stood, new, mixed-income and mixed-use buildings are now lining those streets – drawing visitors, commuters and pedestrians back to this neighborhood. All the former Grove Parc households were guaranteed new homes in Woodlawn, so there was no displacement. The original units were supplemented with market and moderate-income phases to meet a renewed demand for market-rate-for-sale and rental housing.
Ultimately, nearly 1,000 mixed-income units will be created through new construction and the revitalization of vacant multi-unit buildings across the community. As a result, Woodlawn is one of only a few South Side communities in Chicago where housing sales are rebounding, new mixed-use buildings are breaking ground and a national grocer chain is opening a 48,000-square-foot full-service store. Today, Woodlawn is a neighborhood on the rose – where new and renovated mixed-income and market-rate housing, schools, restaurants and retail stores are filling its historic blocks and strengthening the vibrancy of this community. Across the neighborhood, POAH has created more than 600 market and affordable rental opportunities.
Photo credits to POAH.