Home / News / San Diego Housing Federation’s 29th Annual Ruby Awards Celebrate Leadership, Innovation and Impact in Affordable Housing
Mission Cove, National Community Renaissance and Community HousingWorks Receive Ruby Award for Housing Project of the Year- New Construction. (photo courtesy: The San Diego Housing Federation )

San Diego Housing Federation’s 29th Annual Ruby Awards Celebrate Leadership, Innovation and Impact in Affordable Housing

Mission Cove in Oceanside Receives Two Awards

San Diego CA— The San Diego Housing Federation (SDHF) held its 29th annual Ruby Awards at the US Grant Hotel, Thursday, May 16th, 2019. The Ruby Awards Dinner is held annually to recognize extraordinary achievements in affordable housing development, community development, public policy, and housing advocacy.

One of SDHF’s signature events, the Ruby Awards is the county’s largest affordable housing community recognition event and honors the best people, projects and achievements of the past year. Hundreds of housing and community leaders from across the region and around the state were on hand to applaud winners in more than a dozen categories and acknowledge the achievements of their peers.

Winners in twelve categories—including “Project of the Year,” “Outstanding Resident Leader,” and “Outstanding Advocate”—were selected by a cross-disciplinary jury while the “Housing Champion” was again selected by the SDHF Board of Directors.

This year’s Housing Champion award went to James “Jim” Silverwood, President and CEO of Affirmed Housing. Under Mr. Silverwood’s leadership and direction, Affirmed Housing has secured over $1.3 Billion dollars in financing and tax credit equity and has continued to grow in the field of affordable housing by developing innovative new construction and acquisition/rehabilitation communities across California. He has led the firm in its push to house our State’s homeless including veterans. Silverwood has been active in local, regional, statewide and national legislative issues, and has served on numerous boards across the housing industry.

“Outstanding individuals like Jim Silverwood, dedicated organizations, and unique projects that are nominated each year is a testament to the strength of the affordable housing industry and community development in our region,” said Matt Jumper, San Diego Housing Federation President. “Celebrating the 29th annual Ruby Awards comes at an important time, as SDHF continues to broaden its reach.”

2019 Ruby Award Winners:

Outstanding Resident Leader

An Outstanding Resident Leader is an individual residing in affordable housing in our region who has played an important role in promoting the creation of more affordable housing and/or enhancing how affordable housing improves the lives of residents and local communities.

The Ruby Award went to Lavearn London, a resident of Hillside Views. London is generous in her service, placing great value on creating a safe environment for others to call “home.” She has been a member of Residents United Network for about two years. Since the beginning, she has lobbied in Sacramento, presented at community and regional meetings, given public testimony at San Diego City Council, served as a panelist at conference workshops, and has empowered her peers to engage too. For the Mid-term Election, she engaged in voter registration and voter engagement activities, door-knocking and making more than 300 phone calls to help Prop 1 & 2 pass. She works tirelessly to uplift the story of her community.

Outstanding Service to Residents

Outstanding Service to Residents honors an individual employee, volunteer, team, or program that is going beyond the call of duty to make a difference in the lives of residents.

The Ruby Award for Outstanding Service to Residents went to Diana Aguiar. Aguiar has a true passion for her job as the Services Coordinator for Hope through Housing in San Diego which is driven by her desire to help her residents live healthy, successful and satisfying lives. She is recognized by all the property managers as a dedicated partner in providing each and every resident with the best possible experience. As the sole staff member and with a portfolio of 17 properties and 4,500 residents, Aguiar brings an innovative approach to resident services with a balance of personal delivery and partnership collaboration. She connects with her residents of varied backgrounds, cultures, ages and languages and makes them all feel special.

Outstanding Advocate

An Outstanding Advocate is an individual or organization who is raising their voice so that we can all raise ours.

The Ruby Award for Outstanding Advocate went to Scott Dreher. Dreher’s time, energy, leadership and dedication to the plight of homeless people in our community has alleviated human suffering and resulted in policies and programs that have improved their lives. He has persisted fearlessly in this work for more than 30 years. Dreher is best known for the Spencer decision in 2007, which required police to offer an open shelter bed to those sleeping on the sidewalks of downtown between 9 p.m. and 5:30 am.

SDG&E Energy Efficiency & Sustainability Award for Retrofit

The SDG&E Energy Efficiency & Sustainability Award for Retrofit recognizes a retrofit affordable housing development that promotes energy efficiency and/or sustainability in their design and construction.

The Ruby Award went to The Allison Apartments, Housing Innovation Partners and Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation. What began as one of the first developments to partner with San Diego County Behavioral Health Services to provide housing to persons with serious mental illness who were experiencing chronic homelessness is now a state-of-the-art, energy efficient community that will continue to serve a highly vulnerable population for many years. The Allison Apartments is an energy- and water-efficient community of 58 homes in San Diego that primarily serves people with special needs. In 2017, owner Housing Innovation Partners (HIP) decided to partner with Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation to renovate the aging property. Recognizing the multiple benefits of an energy retrofit to both owners and residents, the developers undertook substantial measures that allow the community – now renamed “The Allison” – to operate with net zero energy use.

SDG&E Energy Efficiency & Sustainability Award for New Construction

The SDG&E Energy Efficiency & Sustainability Award for New Construction recognizes a new construction affordable housing development that promotes energy efficiency and/or sustainability in their design and construction.

The Ruby Award went to Mission Cove, National Community Renaissance and Community HousingWorks. This intergenerational, affordable housing community provides 288 high-quality apartment homes for families, seniors, veterans and individuals who have experienced homelessness, and transition age youth. The community is the culmination of successful team work, together the City of Oceanside, co-developers, and others created a smarter, larger development that ultimately will have a great impact on the community and surrounding neighborhood. Sustainable features include: drought-tolerant trees, landscape screening to soften the view of structures from on-site residents and the surrounding community, eight electric vehicle charging stations, solar thermal, solar photovoltaic systems and an organic garden with 23 raised plots.

 CSH Supportive Housing Award

This award recognizes an outstanding supportive housing project, organization, or individual leader in San Diego. Nominees in this category are completed housing developments that have a focus on supportive services to enable people to end their homelessness.

The Ruby Award went to The Allison, Housing Innovation Partners and Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation. The Reverend Glenn Allison Apartments was one of the first supportive housing developments in San Diego to partner with San Diego County Behavioral Health Services to provide housing to persons with serious mental illness who are experiencing chronic homelessness. Through a partnership in 2017 between Housing Innovation Partners (HIP) and Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation, The Allison has been completely renovated to include rooftop solar, a stand-alone community building and updates to all 58 units. The Allison represents the history of supportive housing in San Diego, but also the future by creating new opportunities to serve our most vulnerable with quality, energy-efficient housing.

Outstanding Development Partner

In the category for Outstanding Development Partner, the nominees exemplify what it means to be partner who provided outstanding support on an affordable housing development.

The Ruby Award for Outstanding Development Partner went to Charles Davis with Urban West Development. Davis has been a consultant involved in over $950 million in development and construction management work in the San Diego region, including over 1,000 units of affordable housing, enhancing communities from Oceanside to San Ysidro and in between. His experience includes the management of over 17 affordable housing developments and 11 retail, industrial, environmental and commercial projects from acquisition, planning, development, construction and operations. Davis’ strong drive for housing and community enhancement combined with his easygoing manner has been a reason for his many affordable housing successes of which he has played a significant production role.

 Outstanding Government Agency or Elected Official

Nominees for Outstanding Government Agency or Elected Official took unusual risks or initiatives to support affordable housing and community development.

The Ruby Award for Outstanding Government Agency or Elected Official went to Councilmember Chris Ward. Councilmember Chris Ward spearheaded a variety of efforts to significantly expand affordable and supportive housing in the City of San Diego, including the affordable/supportive housing bond measure that will now be on the 2020 ballot. Councilmember Ward was instrumental in ensuring that over $30 million in Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) funds will be effectively invested in homeless programs and services across the region. He is consistently passionate in this work and tirelessly champions’ policy efforts as well as funding and resources for desperately-needed housing in San Diego. Councilmember Ward recognizes the crisis of affordable housing and homelessness and is redoubling his efforts to make a significant impact through his inspiring leadership at City Council.

 Innovations Award

The Innovations Award encompasses new and interesting ideas in housing or services.

The Ruby Award went to Rebecca Louie. Louie is the Chief Operating Officer at Wakeland Housing and uses her in-depth knowledge of planning, building, and operating affordable housing to bring innovative programs together to support staff with the tools needed to achieve successful outcomes. In 2018, she launched the Supportive Housing Operators Network in order to meet the needs of supportive housing property managers in San Diego. Louie recognized that property manager’s face numerous challenges as they work with individuals who have varying complex needs. With over 15 years of experience, her creative leadership approach has helped identify major challenges and gaps facing the affordable and supportive housing industry.

John Craven Memorial Award

This award recognizes an employee who has taken unique risks or gone above and beyond the call of duty to facilitate the creation of affordable homes in a community or jurisdiction. The award is bestowed in memory of John Craven, one of San Diego’s most dedicated housing development officials.

The John Craven Memorial Award went to The Clairemont Coalition on Homelessness (CCH). In just one year of operation, the Clairemont Coalition on Homelessness (CCH) has emerged as a key voice in the fight to create more supportive housing in San Diego – a fight which has intensified over the past few years as opposition to housing solutions for homelessness has grown in certain San Diego neighborhoods. CCH and its members have proved to be strong advocates, taking a stand in several highly-opposed projects in their home neighborhood of Clairemont and providing support across many platforms of social activism, from testimony at public meetings to newspaper op-eds to social media campaigns. The success of this groups efforts have played a major role in turning the tide in support of once-contested projects that will now help people who have experienced homelessness.

 Housing Project of the Year – Rehab

This award recognizes excellence in affordable housing developments that were acquisition or rehabilitation projects completed in San Diego County between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018.

The Ruby Award went to Town and Country Village Apartments, San Diego Housing Commission, Housing Development Partners (HDP), and Chelsea Investment Corporation. The San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) acquisition and rehabilitation of Town & Country Village Apartments (Town & Country) in partnership with SDHC’s nonprofit affiliate, Housing Development Partners (HDP), and Chelsea Investment Corporation extends the affordability of 97 rental apartments and converts 46 previously market-rate apartments into affordable rental housing units for families in San Diego’s Mountain View community. These 143 apartments will remain affordable for 55 years. In addition to the extensive rehabilitation of rental unit interiors and exteriors, this project included the construction of a community center, which provides a location for resident services, such as after-school programs and adult education, and a computer lab.

Housing Project of the Year – New Construction

This award recognizes excellence in affordable housing developments completed in San Diego County between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018.

The Ruby Award went to Mission Cove, National Community Renaissance and Community HousingWorks.

Mission Cove is a 14.5 acre, 288 affordable apartment home community in the City of Oceanside built by National Community Renaissance and Community HousingWorks. The community is the culmination of successful team work from the City of Oceanside, co-developers, neighbors and others who created a smarter, larger development that ultimately had an even greater impact on the community and surrounding neighborhood. Mission Cove offers a unique residential makeup that promotes social connections, interactions and a sense of community to its residents. The three-phase, mixed-use, master-planned community includes 10,500 square-feet of retail space, 8,700 square feet of community space and numerous outdoor amenities.

The Ruby Awards reception was sponsored by US Bank, and was held in the US Grant’s Presidential Foyer, featuring bites and cocktails for attendees to enjoy.

The program was kicked off by our emcee, Executive Director Stephen Russell, in the Presidential Ballroom and attendees enjoyed dinner and wine sponsored by MFRG-ICON Construction. Adorning the tables this year were beautiful floral arrangements sponsored by the State Department of Housing and Community Development.


San Diego Housing Federation

The San Diego Housing Federation is the region’s voice for affordable housing. SDHF is committed to increasing the supply of housing for San Diego’s most vulnerable families, seniors, veterans, and those living with disabilities. For more information visit, www.housingsandiego.org.