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A project spearheaded by Roger W. Brandt Jr. '80 has been chosen as the "Best Family Project" in Affordable Housing Finance magazine's 2007 Readers Choice Awards for the Nation's Best Affordable Housing Developments.

Rochester's Cornerstone Group, Ltd., of which Brandt is president, and Providence Housing Development Corporation won the award for Plymouth Manor and Carlson Commons, a joint venture project developed in conjunction with the Rochester Housing Authority between 2003 and 2007. Plymouth Manor and Carlson Commons was one of 36 developments selected as finalists from nearly 150 nominations that came in from all regions of the United States; it is the first project in New York State to win the award.

The 144-unit, $31-million project was a challenging and unique undertaking on several levels, according to Brandt, who said, "Making a difference in the lives of so many people by providing quality housing leaves us with great satisfaction. To be recognized by our peers from across the country is very nice; however, it is the families we have assisted that really continue to drive us." The development encompassed 70 sites throughout the southwest part of Rochester.

According to the magazine, the project was selected based on several characteristics including its impact on the community by improving the immediate social or economic fabric; its role in overall community revitalization or social change; its receiving broad community support, including state and local government financial assistance; demonstrated creative problem-solving; and innovative financing.

Rochester's Cornerstone Group, Ltd. is a real estate development firm specializing in affordable housing development, while also providing real estate brokerage and environmental consulting services. Providence Housing Development Corporation is a not-for profit corporation affiliated with the Diocese of Rochester that specializes in creating and providing access to quality affordable housing enriched by the availability of supportive services.

Brandt earned his St. Lawrence degree in environmental studies/economics, and has been active as an alumnus, in admissions, fund-raising and as a past member of the Alumni Executive Council.

Posted: November 21, 2007

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