SJHP’s 15th Anniversary

with No Comments

THE NEWSLETTER OF THOSE COMMITTED TO SAFE, DECENT, AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Since its incorporation in 1996, the St. Johns Housing Partnership has grown in vision with achievements to match. From SJHP’s initial–and ongoing–Emergency Repair Program, which rehabilitates the homes of low-to-moderate income elderly and disabled homeowners, SJHP completed a multi-county Weatherization Program in 2012 for multifamily rental properties in NE Florida, which enables energy efficiency and reduced utility bills for working families and seniors on fixed incomes.

In the intervening 15 years, SJHP accomplished even more. In 2001, as part of West Augustine’s community revitalization, SJHP began restoration of a two-story section of a Flagler-era hotel, Sunnyside House, for use as its new offices.

In 2002, SJHP began planning its first affordable housing community, The Hancock Place, with 36 single-family homes designed with low-maintenance construction and Florida-friendly landscaping plus Water Star conservation and Energy Star efficiency along with an ecologically enhanced storm water retention pond. The Hancock Place has won many state awards for “green-certified” affordable housing.

To help working families become first-time homeowners, SJHP began a Credit Counseling Program in 2006, offering financial literacy classes and finding ways to reduce debt. The program then expanded into Foreclosure Prevention to help other low-income families stay in their homes.

In 2009, SJHP purchased its first affordable rental property, Southern Villas, a 60-unit complex, which will be renovated to improve energy and water efficiency for its majority elderly and handicapped residents.

In 2010, SJHP expanded its Weatherization Program into Clay County, then opening an adjunct office there with a staff of four. And, by 2012, SJHP had weatherized rental properties in 20 northeast Florida counties, creating local jobs in the building trades at a critical time.

With such accomplishments, SJHP’s goals envision a future of Affordable Living.

  • Affordable Housing
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Water Conservation

SJHP’s development goals started with affordability and progressed to sustainability. Now, we’re a leader, yet key to accomplishing our goals is public-private partnerships. We’re modeling best practices by working together. We will continue to:

  • Involve students from local vocational programs in the building sciences, which invests in the future by providing on-the-job training to develop a potential workforce.
  • Recruit local volunteers among firefighters, police, realtors, churches, etc., who help us develop community support for sustainability.
  • Use appropriate materials and installation protocols designed to be cost effective.
  • Encourage vendors and subcontractors to use products of optimal energy efficiency.
  • Apply green-building technologies, such as diagnostic testing before and after construction or weatherization to ensure improvement.
  • Provide post-purchase homeowner education on personal finance, resource conservation, landscape maintenance, and energy-efficient appliances.

SJHP started repairing homes, then committed to building homes, and is now dedicated to improving homes for affordable living. Our “green” mission meets a dual economic impact for our community in better quality homes and better paying jobs. We model “green build” initiatives for other developers, builders, and local governments.

Clearly, for the industry, building “green” is the future, a challenge, and a marketing advantage; but, for all of us, living “green” is a collective responsibility. We’ve raised the bar for a higher standard of workforce housing.

__

You can make a difference in someone’s life today! Click here to learn how you can get involved with SJHP by giving time, talent or money.

Leave a Reply