Today, SEDA-COG’s Housing Development Corporation (HDC) was awarded the Housing Pioneer Award during the Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) Commonwealth Housing Forum – the first ever organization to receive the award.

The goal has always been the same for SEDA-COG’s HDC: provide and maintain quality, safe, and affordable housing options for our region’s elderly population. This award is a reflection of the leadership and dedication shown by the HDC for over 20 years.

High Street Manor in Selinsgrove was the first project completed by SEDA-COG’s HDC in 1998. Since then, the HDC has completed nine additional housing facilities in Dalmatia, Danville, Flemington, Lewistown, Montoursville, and Williamsport. The HDC coordinates projects to buy land, secures financing, and oversees construction of rental housing for the area’s elderly population, especially those on fixed incomes. They also manage the rental complexes. Once completed, the apartments allow senior citizens to safely downsize while maintaining their independence.

“We do everything we can to help them, from troubleshooting cell phones to setting up remote classes on health and wellbeing. At the end of the day, we are doing everything we can to help the 62 and older populations live their best life at an affordable price,” says Leslie Osgood, Chief of Rental Operations.

PHFA’s biennial Housing Forum provides professional development opportunities for people working in the housing field. Attendees participate in a variety of focused educational sessions and hear from nationally recognized speakers. The 2022 program of events included 21 educational sessions, two keynote presentations, an Abraham Lincoln presenter who spoke on the topic of leadership, a tour of PHFA’s Passive House and LEED Platinum office addition, and a popular networking event. The conference ran May 11-12 and drew more than 450 attendees. This year, PHFA celebrated 25 years of producing its housing forums.

In addition to SEDA-COG, two others were also bestowed the Pioneer Award:

  • Jane Downing, senior program officer, economic and community development, The Pittsburgh Foundation, Pittsburgh
  • Ira Goldstein, president of policy solutions, Reinvestment Fund, Philadelphia.

“Our Housing Pioneer Awards are not bestowed often, which makes them a special and distinct honor,” said PHFA’s Executive Director and CEO Robin Wiessmann. “The two people and one organization being honored today have distinguished themselves over decades as champions for affordable housing. This recognition is intended to honor and thank them, and hopefully inspire others to follow in their footsteps.”

Osgood reflected on the historic nature of receiving this award as an organization.

“This work would not be possible if not for the tireless dedication of Ben Gair and Vanessa Hartman, Rental Housing Managers, our on-site building managers, and our maintenance staff. Typically, this award goes to an individual in our field. I am so proud that the PHFA is recognizing the village that it takes to provide seniors a safe and reliable place to live.”

Kim Wheeler, Executive Director of SEDA-COG, said, “The SEDA-COG HDC has been an invaluable resource to our area’s seniors since day one. We are beyond honored to be the first organization receiving this recognition from our peers, and we look forward to continuing to provide affordable housing options for the seniors in our region for many years to come.”

SEDA-COG is a community and economic development agency in Lewisburg and is one of seven Local Development Districts in Pennsylvania. SEDA-COG enhances the quality of life and economic advantage for residents and businesses in the 11 central Pennsylvania counties through its vital partnerships and initiatives.