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First-Ever Livable Communities Award Winners Announced By AARP and NAHB

Five Organizations Recognized for Creating User-Friendly Homes and Developments Appropriate for All Ages and Abilities

Washington, DC -- AARP and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today announced that two builders, two developers and one remodeler will receive the groups’ co-sponsored 2007 Livable Communities Award for forward thinking in the field of home and community design. The Livable Communities Award honors builders, developers and remodelers that create attractive, well-designed homes and communities, which are safe, comfortable and accessible for people of all ages and abilities.

The winning projects include an affordable, co-housing complex that preserves open space and community gardens; a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly college town community in an evolving urban setting; an “Easy Living” home featuring built-in user-friendly design elements; a state-of-the-art energy efficient home designed for all ages with the architectural details of its adjoining historic neighborhood; and a house remodeled with function and fashion in mind to be a “home for a lifetime.”

“These winners have done outstanding work that recognizes the need for quality housing and community design to ensure people can enjoy their homes in comfort and safety and get maximum enjoyment and benefits from their neighborhood,” said Elinor Ginzler, AARP’s Director of Livable Communities. “This award celebrates the ingenuity of the winners in meeting the growing need and demand for user-friendly homes and communities designed to meet the needs and abilities of all residents.”

“These builders, remodelers and developers are being recognized as leaders in the effort to meet the needs of the nation’s 50-plus consumers and their families,” said NAHB President Brian Catalde, a home builder from El Segundo, Calif. “This fast-growing market is very important to our industry, and these award-winning projects provide great examples of design innovations that promote more safe and comfortable living.”

The 2007 AARP and NAHB Livable Communities awards recognize five companies in five categories.

Builder up to 2500 square feet - John Wesley Miller Companies (for Armory Park del Sol in Tucson, AZ) This user-friendly home design features state-of-the-art energy efficient technology, including solar panels and solar water heating systems, to reduce energy usage by 56%. The house also includes a well-designed kitchen, bathroom, entryways, and architectural details of the surrounding historic neighborhood.

Builder more than 2500 square feet - Wendt Builders Inc. (for Olde Town Grayson, Lot 13B in Grayson, GA) Besides a step-free entrance, a full bedroom and bath on the main floor and, and broad doorways, design upgrades in this builder’s “Easy Living” house includes barrier-free showers, Jacuzzi tubs with large ledges, deep pull-out kitchen cabinet drawers, and recessed and rope lighting throughout the house.

Developer up to 250 units - Madison Area Community Land Trust (for Troy Gardens in Madison, WI) This 30-unit, mixed-income, co-housing community now protects 26 acres of open space for environmental preservation -- currently used as an organic farm, community gardens, a prairie and a wildlife habitat -- yet meets the highest standards for individual accessibility and is an easy public transit or bike ride to downtown Madison.

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