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The Best in American Living Award (BALA) - 2008

The Best in American Living Award (BALA) jury and HUD judges, (Andrea Vrankar, Architect and Engineer, Cleveland's Office of Public Housing and Stephen D. Shelley, Supervisory Project Manager, Chicago's Office of Housing) recommended the following project as a Platinum Award recipient of the Twelfth Annual BALA/HUD Secretary's Award for Excellence. The award recognizes design excellence and innovation in affordable homeownership projects produced through cooperative public/private efforts.

Universal Design/Green Affordable Housing Prototype Schenectady, New York (Platinum Award) The distinctive aspect of the Universal Design/Green Affordable Housing Prototype application is the quality of the infill project in leveraging funding sources. It used green sustainable building materials and systems to obtain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification. Materials used in the home included bamboo flooring, recycled carpets, solar panels, and recycled composite lumber. The builder also used ENERGY STAR materials and achieved ENERGY STAR home rating to reduce the utility consumption and impact on the environment. The home targeted homebuyers with incomes of less than 80 percent of the area median income.

The home was offered at $85,000, which is below the median home price of $188,900 in the Schenectady Metropolitan Statistical Area. Three homes in the development were available at this price and funds were obtained for an additional 10 homes in this price range.

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