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San Diego Housing Federation’s 30th Annual Ruby Awards Shine Light on Affordable Housing Amidst Social Struggles

San+Diego+Housing+Federation%E2%80%99s+30th+Annual+Ruby+Awards+Shine+Light+on+Affordable+Housing+Amidst+Social+Struggles

San Diego CAThe San Diego Housing Federation (SDHF) held its 30th annual Ruby Awards on Thursday, July 23 from 3 to 5 p.m. online via digital live stream. The Ruby Awards are held annually to recognize extraordinary achievements in affordable housing development, community development, public policy, and housing advocacy and celebrate all those housing advocates helping to achieve this goal. With the economic fallout of the pandemic and protests surrounding systemic racism, the Ruby Awards’ motto of “No Place Like Home” carries an even deeper meaning this year.
“Celebrating the 30th annual Ruby Awards comes at an important time as we recognize those who are working to lift everyone up by providing affordable and permanent supportive homes,” said SDHF Executive Director Stephen Russell. “Every San Diegan should have a place to call home, no matter their economic situation or social background.”
The SDHF Board of Directors selected the “Housing Champion” while a cross-disciplinary jury selected the winners in twelve categories —including “Project of the Year,” “Outstanding Resident Leader,” and “Outstanding Advocate.”
This year’s posthumous Housing Champion award went to Rich Juarez. “Besides his granddaughters, there is one thing that is most important to him because it was a story of housing and of home. That’s the story of Mercado Apartments,” said Chris, Juarez’s son who gave an acceptance speech on his behalf. Juarez was a community leader, visionary, and a leading force behind the redevelopment of Barrio Logan. Over the course of his career, Juarez’s projects in Barrio Logan and City Heights focused on neighborhood revitalization and affordable housing.
The Outstanding Resident Leader award went to Jason Pannell. Outstanding Resident Leader honors individuals residing in affordable housing in our region who play 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. Pannell received the award for his dedication to serving the residents of Atmosphere Apartments and has donated hundreds of hours to providing meals to the community.
Senate Pro Tempore Toni Atkins announced the final award categories for Housing Project of the Year as she acknowledged their efforts on enhancing neighborhoods and promoting a sense of community for residents, “as we know, community is home, and there’s no place like home.”
This year’s Housing Project of the Year – Rehabilitation went to Zephyr, Affirmed Housing. The project was recognized as an excellent example of adaptive reuse. Affirmed Housing, HA Builders, and Basis Architecture worked together to convert a rundown Motel 6 and Denny’s into a new community that includes 84 units set-aside for veterans experiencing homelessness and an additional on-site property manager’s unit.
Housing Project of the Year – New Construction went to Bluewater and Stella, Affirmed Housing. The apartments represent innovation in development of affordable housing and offer 160 affordable apartment homes located in the neighborhood of Grantville. Situated on the same parcel, the adjoined communities have been designed to seamlessly blend with one another and the community at large.
Notable award winners include Mayor Catherine Blakespear for Outstanding Government Official, Council President Georgette Gomez for John Craven Memorial, and Habitat for Humanity for SDG&E Environmental Award. For a full list of the 2020 Ruby Awards winners, please visit here.


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.

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San Diego Housing Federation’s 30th Annual Ruby Awards Shine Light on Affordable Housing Amidst Social Struggles