409 Cumberland in Portland Recognized for National Excellence in Affordable Housing

Prestigious Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award Presented to Avesta Housing for 409 Cumberland


N E W S  R E L E A S E

For Immediate Release: June 8, 2016

Green Development Wins 22nd Annual Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award from Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition in Washington, D.C.

PORTLAND, Maine – 409 Cumberland, an affordable rental housing development designed to foster healthy and environmentally-sustainable living in Portland’s Bayside neighborhood, was named winner of the 22nd Annual Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Awards (Green category) today at the Rayburn House congressional office building in Washington, D.C.


Presented to the most outstanding Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) properties in the country by the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition, the Edsons convene each year on Capitol Hill members of Congress, businesses and organizations to celebrate Housing Credit developments at the forefront of creating stronger, healthier communities in urban, suburban and rural areas nationwide.


The Housing Credit is America’s and Maine’s primary tool for creating and preserving affordable housing, financing nearly all of the affordable rental homes, almost 3 million across the country, since it was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.


"I am pleased that 409 Cumberland has received the Edson Award in recognition of its environmentally-friendly design and its focus on healthy living," said U.S. Senator Collins (R-ME).  "I am a longtime supporter of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, which makes developments like 409 Cumberland possible and helps provide affordable housing for thousands of Maine families.  I congratulate the public and private partners behind 409 Cumberland for their commitment to affordable housing and on receiving this impressive award."


"This development is a key piece in the ongoing revitalization of Bayside that provides seniors, young adults, families, formerly homeless individuals, and adults with special needs a safe and healthy place to call home,” said U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME-1). “And it was the Low Income Housing Tax Credit that made this development possible. Congratulations to all of the partners involved on this well-deserved national honor.”


“The Edson Awards recognize the Housing Credit’s ability to strengthen lives, communities and the economy, and this year’s winners remind us how vital the program is not only in Maine but nationwide,” said Anthony J. Alfieri, president of the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition. “As the primary source of financing for affordable housing, the Housing Credit must be expanded to make more developments like 409 Cumberland possible.”


“We are honored that 409 Cumberland was recognized with an Edson Award as one of the most outstanding Housing Credit developments in the country,” said Dana Totman, president and CEO of Avesta Housing. “The property combines services, programs and green community design elements to foster healthy living not only for residents of the building but in the surrounding neighborhood.”


409 Cumberland offers 57 efficiency, one- and two-bedroom apartments. Green design elements include a super-insulated building envelope, high-efficiency heating system, low-impact storm water management system, zero-VOC paints and low-VOC materials , low-flow plumbing fixtures, CFL and LED lighting and Energy Star™ appliances.


The rooftop features garden beds and a greenhouse where residents can grow their own vegetables year-round, and the Healthy Living Center on the first floor includes a demonstration kitchen where residents can learn how to make the most of their harvest, thanks to programming by Cultivating Community.


A panel of four judges selected seven first place winners and eleven honorable mentions for this year’s awards program. The Edson Awards, given annually by the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition, are named for Charles L. Edson, an affordable housing luminary who was Transition Director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on President Carter's Transition Staff. Mr. Edson served in the Office of the General Counsel at HUD and was for nearly 40 years Co-Editor-in-Chief of Housing and Development Reporter. He is a founding partner of the law firm Lane and Edson, and was later a partner of Nixon Peabody LLP.


About the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition

Founded in 1988, AHTCC is a trade organization of housing professionals who advocate for affordable rental housing financed using the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit). Our for-profit and non-profit members—including syndicators, investors, lenders, developers, legal and accounting professionals and state allocating agencies—seek to preserve, expand and improve the Housing Credit and complementary programs through legislative outreach and education. Please visit to join or for more information.


The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) was created as part of the Tax Reform Act of 1986.  Today, the Housing Credit is widely regarded as the nation’s most successful housing production program ever. The Housing Credit has financed nearly 3 million affordable apartments, supporting 96,000 jobs each year, mostly in the small-business sector.

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