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Achievement Awards Presented at Statewide Housing Forum - 2/4/2008

[Columbia, SC] The prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Charles I. Small, president and owner of Diversified Development, Inc., at the two-day Palmetto Affordable Housing Forum Awards held recently in Columbia.

This award, presented by the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority, recognizes a person’s service and commitment in addressing the housing needs of the people of our state. It is the highest award the Authority makes and has been awarded to only six other individuals in the Authority’s 36 year history.

 Small, a real estate professional for over 30 years and former Board Chairman for the Authority, has developed over 75 properties. During his tenure with the Authority he was instrumental in the expansion of the homeownership program resulting in over $500 million in homeownership loans making it possible for over 5,700 families to realize the American Dream.

The South Carolina Housing Achievement Awards, presented annually to recognize outstanding contributions in the area of affordable housing, were presented in the Housing Development, Organization, and Creative Partnership categories.

Seven Farms Apartments on Daniel Island in Charleston received the Housing Development Award. This multifamily unit is the first affordable housing complex to be constructed on the island.

The Organization Award was presented to the City of Columbia Community Development Housing Emergency Loan Program (H.E.L.P.). This program raises funds to be used for repairs needed by Columbia’s neediest homeowners. To date H.E.L.P. has raised over $200,000 for this project.

The Georgetown Housing Partnership was recognized in the Creative Partnership category. This partnership, United Methodist Relief Center, Bunnelle Foundation, and the Waccamaw Council of Governments, was created to help solve the issues of substandard housing in Georgetown County.

The 2007 Lender/Broker Awards recognize outstanding organizations that assist the Authority in providing affordable homeownership opportunities to the citizens of South Carolina.

The Lender/Broker of the Year Award was presented to Citizens First Mortgage with over $11.6 million in loan volume. Other lender and broker awards were: Lender of the Year, Division I was received by Carolina First; Broker of the Year Division I went to Hanover Mortgage of Greenville; Lender of the Year Division II  was presented to Midland Mortgage; and, Broker of the Year Division II  was received by  Upstate Mortgage.

Each year the “What My Home Means to Me” Coloring/Essay contest is offered to children who have been helped into better housing situations through the Authority’s various programs.

This year Nine-year-old Tabias Jackson of Simpsonville received the first place award in the artwork category and 11-year-old Bianca Gibson of Bamberg received first place in the essay portion of the contest. Each received a bicycle, a $100 savings bond, and a certificate for their hard work.

The two-day Palmetto Affordable Housing Forum is a partnership that includes the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority, the Affordable Housing Coalition of South Carolina, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs, and USDA-Rural Development.

The partners of the Palmetto Affordable Housing Forum have a common goal of improving affordable housing in the State of South Carolina. Through events such as the Forum, housing advocates can make a significant and powerful difference in providing affordable housing for the citizens of South Carolina.