2019 Project of the Year Awards 21st SHA Conference


Maria Maio-Messano – 2019 Cornerstone Award

Each year we honor some of the best in our community and need your help in nominating those people and projects that are supportive housing heroes working to make an impact.

The Cornerstone award is bestowed by the SHA Board of Trustees to a person whose career has been devoted to exceptional service in the creation of affordable, supportive housing.

For over four decades Maria Maio-Messano has made fair and affordable housing her life’s mission. Maria Maio-Messano’s path of advocacy for others was nurtured from an early age by her parents who guided her in the way of helping neighbors and sustaining community. Building upon this lesson, Maria’s journey into developing affordable housing began with the Downtown Urban Housing Corporation in Jersey City helping residents achieve housing through sweat equity. This development mindset would be a strong asset as Maio-Messano eventually rose to lead the Jersey City Housing Authority and built meaningful connections with residents as well as managing over 2,300 apartments and over 4000 housing vouchers for affordable housing. Bringing all her experience to her most recent role as Director of the New Jersey State Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Maria’s vision was critical to her stewardship of New Jersey’s $1.7 billion dollar HUD allocation which affected the lives of people living in 100,000 households. Throughout her career Maria understood the importance of perseverance and keeping projects moving, finding ways to make others understand that creating and maintaining housing wasn’t just “the right thing to do,” but was an essential part of building a thriving and diverse community.

Maria is by every example of energy, work, and good humor the living representation of the Supportive Housing Cornerstone Award, and we at SHA are deeply grateful for all she has accomplished and the many she has inspired.

2019 Project of the Year Awards

SHA is proud to announce the two 2019 Project of the Year Award winners that are helping veterans find permanent homes. In addition to developing these projects with accessibility and innovation, the support planning of these projects includes building community partnerships and helping tenants integrate into the community by fostering independence and improving their quality of life.

SHA is pleased to celebrate the American Legion Post #107 and Camp Salute for their work in transforming their communities and helping house and support those who have given so much in serving our country. SHA also extends a special thanks to all our nominated projects for these awards who continue the tireless efforts to provide affordable, supportive housing in New Jersey.

American Legion Post #107 (Hoboken, NJ)
Arising from the destruction leveled by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, The American Legion Post 107 in Hoboken made a pledge to rebuild and through collaboration with donors and the City of Hoboken, not only rebuilt, but made permanent supportive housing for six homeless veterans. The development team includes Monarch Housing Associates, Kitchen and Associates, MidAtlantic Engineering Partners, Sabia Construction, NJHMFA, City of Hoboken, Hoboken Shelter, American Legion Post 107, and Bevan Lawson.

Camp Salute (Clayton, NJ)

Camp Salute is dedicated to providing over 70 affordable rental homes for families and veterans including handicap accessible and handicap adaptable apartments for residents. Combining support services in a community setting empowers veterans and families to build stable lives within their new homes. The development team includes Conifer Realty, People for People Foundation, Kitchen and Associates, and NJHMFA.

2019 Innovation Leadership Award