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Affordable Housing Wins for Sustainability

For Anita Snyder, renovations at Harbor View Manor mean an opportunity to revisit a favorite pastime — cooking up tasty treats.

Affordable Housing Wins for Sustainability

Resident Anita Snyder and Administrator Kathy Williams connect in the library, one of Harbor View Manor’s spaces to relax and socialize. Photo by Brian DalBalcon. (Copyright by ABHOW. Used with permission.)

"I didn’t have a baking area," Snyder says of her kitchen prior to the Tacoma, Washington, community’s renovations.

"Now I have a full counter so I can roll pie crust or do whatever I like."

Completed in 2013 in partnership with SMR Architects, Walsh Construction Co. and Beacon Development Group, the updated kitchens were only part of the $9.6 million renovation and refinancing that earned Washington’s Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard certification.

More recently, Harbor View Manor, owned by Beacon Communities, ABHOW’s affordable housing subsidiary, won the 2015 Excellence in Affordable Housing Award for Sustainability from the Tacoma-Pierce County Affordable Housing Consortium.

The annual award is given to a local organization for its outstanding commitment to using green materials and methods in its efforts to provide affordable housing, says Connie Brown, the consortium’s executive director.

Community projects included adding energy-efficient hot water boilers, lighting, and a ventilation system, and replacing outdated water and sewer lines.

"The sustainable renovation of Harbor View Manor was the right thing to do for the environment and for building operations," says Cindy Proctor, development director for Beacon Development Group, a subsidiary of Beacon Communities.

"What’s really interesting is they did it so smoothly," Brown says.

The 14-story community took the renovations floor by floor in order to minimize disruptions to residents. The result, says Harbor View Manor Administrator Kathy Williams, is a "jewel" of a community.

"There is just so much to do," Williams says. "There’s so much usable space."

Smart use of space during the renovations increased the community’s common areas. A new family room serves as a place for residents to spend time with visiting children or grandchildren, while an activities room, library, fitness room and patio allow for relaxation and socialization as a community.

Above all, the renovations will make an impact for the long term, says Proctor.

"Not only is the building conserving more energy," she says, "but residents are more comfortable."