Fred Copeman, Maurice Barry 2016 Vision Award Winners

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Each year since 2004, NH&RA has bestowed its Affordable Housing Vision Award to affordable housing and community development leaders who have made valuable contributions to the field and demonstrated years of leadership, commitment and imagination. Recognizing that providing housing for those who cannot meet the market rates is an always complex and challenging endeavor, demanding both perseverance and foresight, NH&RA seeks to single out men and women in all aspects of the industry whose careers and achievements serve as examples and role models. Traditionally, one individual is chosen from the profit sector and one from the nonprofit sector.

Honorees are nominated and selected by an expert committee of NH&RA directors representing a range of disciplines, including developers, syndicators, attorneys, accountants and other affordable housing industry professionals.

The two individuals honored this year are: for the nonprofit sector award, Maurice Barry, Chief of the Asset Resolution Branch in the HUD Multifamily Boston Satellite Office; and, and in the profit sector, Fred Copeman, Esq., Principal at CohnReznick LLP, and National Director of its Tax Credit Investment Services.

Mr. Barry and Mr. Copeman each have decades of experience and leadership, and continue to underscore the reality that Boston remains among the most vibrant and creative communities for affordable housing and community cohesiveness. NH&RA Executive Director Thom Amdur says, “This year’s honorees have played pivotal behind-the-scenes roles in the stewardship and expansion of affordable housing opportunities for low-income families around the country.”

“Over the course of his 28-year career at HUD, Maurice Barry has been a leader in the implementation of many of HUD’s most important multifamily preservation initiatives in New England, including Section 236 decoupling, Mark-to-Market transactions, and to Section 202 refinancing. He has been the ‘go to’ guy in Boston when it comes to complicated preservation issues,” said Amdur.

“Throughout his career, Fred Copeman has been a trusted advisor to many affordable housing investors across the spectrum. His role in helping expand the overall investorbase for the LIHTC cannot be understated, and through the development of his investor due diligence practice, he has helped assure the program’s longstanding financial success.”

Ironically, one of our awardees started out in the private sector and felt a draw to move over to the public sector. The other began in the public sector and was eager to switch to the private sector. But both have been committed throughout their careers to the sustainability of affordable housing: around the nation in general and, more specifically, in one of the most challenging metropolitan areas and geographic regions.

Previous Vision Award winners include the late Boston Mayor Tom Menino, former Congressman Barney Frank, Jack Manning of Boston Capital and Lisa Alberghini of the Boston Archdiocese Planning Office for Urban Affairs. Last year’s awardees were Sheila Dillon, Cabinet Chief of Housing for the City of Boston and Director of the Department of Neighborhood Development for nonprofit; and for the profit sector, William F. Machen, partner in the Boston office of the nationally renowned law firm Holland and Knight, and an expert in tax and business planning in real estate development and syndication.

Barry and Copeman will be honored at the NH&RA Fall Developers Forum on November 1st at the Langham Hotel in Boston.