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Housing Vermont honors Stewart, Martinez

Posted by: VHFA on October 1, 2010 - 9:01am

Housing Vermont presented two awards at its September meeting of its Board of Directors: Paul Stewart received the Michael M. Richardson Award; Marty Martinez received the Mile Jensen Award.

The Michael M. Richardson Award recognizes outstanding leadership, volunteer commitment, and the contribution of resources that enhance Housing Vermont’s ability to provide permanently affordable housing for Vermonters.

Paul is owner of Stewart Property Management and manages 90 properties and 3,500 apartments throughout New England. He received the award for his dedication to ensuring the promise of safe, affordable and attractive housing is sustained through the professional management of multifamily housing.

"In our world of real estate development it’s often the developer, the person or group who pushes the deal through to closing, who gets recognition. We don’t often speak of our better half — the property managers who must meet the constant challenges of working with people at their best and their worst; coping with a host of regulations from different agencies; and maintaining the physical asset," Housing Vermont President Nancy Owens said when making the presentation.

"The expertise (Paul's) gathered about how to navigate arcane federal programs is not something he hoards and protects but rather it’s what he gives away and shares with the housing community, making it possible for all of us to improve the quality of our work."

Housing Vermont presents the Miles Jensen Award each year to an individual who represents an outstanding level of community volunteerism in the effort to provide affordable housing.

Housing Vermont Vice President Kenn Sassorossi presented Martinez the honor for his work to bring sorely needed housing and supportive services to homeless veterans.

Marty, a Navy veteran who has experienced homelessness first hand, worked with staff of Burlington's Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) to obtain Vermont’s first Department of Veterans Affairs Homeless Providers capital grant and per diem assistance program that will benefit 29 veteran and other households at Canal Street Housing.

Once completed this fall, Canal Street Housing will offer affordable housing and coordinated support services to up to 28 homeless veterans and their families.

In 2007, the National Alliance to End Homelessness estimated 195,827 veterans were homeless in the U.S. in any given night. They represented 26% of homeless people, while composing only 11% of the population. Approximately 125 Vermont veterans are homeless on any given night.

Congratulations, and thanks, Paul and Marty!