Keene Housing is the nation’s sixth affordable housing provider to receive AHAB accreditation. The designation of “Accredited Affordable Housing Organization” reflects Keene Housing’s commitment to meeting high performance standards established by the affordable housing industry and to providing quality, well-managed housing.
Keene Housing underwent a rigorous review of documentation that culminated in a virtual site visit conducted in the midst of New Hampshire’s COVID-19 Stay at Home Order. During the review and site visit, AHAB reviewers evaluated Keene Housing on its conformance with 8 standards, 47 guidelines and 110 indicators; each one measuring how effectively the organization’s board, leadership and staff are meeting their mission of providing high quality affordable housing and related services. Executive Director, Joshua Meehan, stated, “Our real estate portfolio and programs are diverse and subject to a great deal of oversight, but before AHAB, there were no standards against which to measure the performance of our organization as a whole. We are thrilled to join the growing number of affordable housing providers to receive AHAB accreditation.”
“We are pleased that we were able to still complete our site visit and review due to our ability to operate remotely prior to the stay at home and social distancing guidelines. The site visit interviews we usually conduct in person were conducted through webinars and teleconferences. We were able to speak with residents, staff, community stakeholders, including the mayor of the City of Keene. Keene Housing took professional photography of many aspects of their housing portfolio just a few months prior to our review. This allowed us to see the community and homes where residents live,” said Diana McWilliams, President and CEO of the Affordable Housing Accreditation Board. “We were so inspired by the staff and whole community served by Keene Housing. Their application and site visit demonstrated a commitment to residents, their community, and an internal commitment to continuous quality improvement.”
Accreditation is especially important for Keene Housing because as a participant in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Moving to Work Demonstration (MTW), the organization has a great deal more flexibility than most other housing authorities. “The accreditation process helps us show how the innovation and local decision making that MTW provides us translates into high quality housing and services for the people we serve,” Meehan said. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that two of the first six organizations to pursue and receive accreditation, Keene Housing and the Seattle Housing Authority, are MTW agencies.”
Established in 2013, the Affordable Housing Accreditation Board began rolling out the formal accreditation system in early 2018. Accreditation is awarded for a five-year period, encouraging accredited organizations to continuously improve and excel in providing safe, well managed, high quality affordable housing in their communities. Accreditation can result in improved management of housing, shared best practices around the country, and higher quality of life for residents.
The Affordable Housing Accreditation Board accepts accreditation registrations online at: www.housingaccreditation.org.