Lawson is proud to share that Lawson Senior Development Manager, Austin Pittman, has been selected by The Virginian-Pilot Inside Business to be celebrated as a 2023 Top Forty Under 40 professional. This is the 25th year Inside Business has honored professionals under the age of forty who are successful in their careers and involved in the community, making Hampton Roads a better place.

“We are honored that Inside Business has recognized Austin. He is an industry leader in our niche market, and we are extremely appreciative of his contributions to the team.”, said Lawson President and CEO, Carl Hardee. “He is driven by a desire to help people, which is such a huge part of who he is and what aligns him so well with our mission and the values of our company.”

Through his roles at Lawson, Austin has made substantial contributions to the creation of high-quality, affordable homes for well over 1,000 Virginia families, most of them in Hampton Roads.

Lawson’s award-winning riverfront affordable apartment community, The Retreat at Harbor Pointe is pleased to announce their participation in the Elizabeth River Project and Chesapeake Bay Foundation oyster gardening project.

Four oyster cages are secured to the boardwalk adjacent to The Retreat. The baby oysters, called spat, will grow in this location until they are adults. The adult oysters will be planted on sanctuary reefs throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed and then a new batch of spat will be grown in the cages. The program helps to restore the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay and connected waterways.

According to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the oyster population is a small fraction of what it used to be due to overharvesting, poor water quality, habitat loss, and disease. A healthy oyster reef creates habitat for over 300 species of plants and animals and a single healthy adult oyster can filter up to two gallons of water per hour making them critical to the health of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.

“We’re really excited to be a part of this program.”, said Lawson Director of Marketing, Dan Hankin. “The oyster garden is a great opportunity to make a positive environmental impact and get our residents and team members involved in stewardship of the river.”

The Retreat at Harbor Pointe was recognized as an Elizabeth River Project River Star Business at Achievement Level in 2021. Efforts leading to River Star certification include oyster castles under the boardwalk, elimination of invasive plants, addition of salt-tolerant native reeds and plants, rip-rap to stabilize the shoreline and prevent erosion, and Earthcraft certified energy efficient green buildings.

Lawson is proud to share that Market Heights Apartments in Norfolk, VA have been awarded the Home Builders Association of Virginia Multifamily Project of the Year Award.

The HBAV Housing Excellence Awards recognize leadership, engagement, and dedication to the success of the Home Builders Association, community, and Virginia building industry.

Market Heights is a 164-unit income restricted 100% affordable LIHTC (Low Income Housing Tax Credit) community in Norfolk’s St. Paul’s district serving residents at 40%, 50%, and 60% AMI. Seventeen apartments are handicapped accessible 504 Compliant units and 80 units are of Universal Design. All indoor and outdoor common spaces exceed accessibility standards, creating a truly inclusive community. 

The community features amenities not often associated with affordable housing including a resident community room, secure building access, elevators, fitness center, accessible playground, on-site laundry, bicycle storage, and a dog park with pet washing station. Apartment amenities include granite countertops, in-unit washer/dryer hookups, and modern kitchens with dishwasher in energy efficient Earthcraft certified buildings.

Market Heights is the first property approved under the City of Norfolk’s new resiliency code mandating specific resilient measures applying to flooding, energy efficiency, and building integrity. The site has been raised out of the flood plain and includes a new public sidewalk that improves safety for students walking to the neighboring middle school.

Placing a primary focus on resident health, a $100,000 grant from LISC Hampton Roads powered by Sentara health will fund a food pantry, accessible fitness equipment, and resident telehealth booth for residents. Lawson also partnered with Hope House Foundation and Volunteers of America to provide permanent on-site supportive services for residents with disabilities.

“As a community, we are now beginning to realize that the lack of affordable housing has reached a critical point, and that we have not produced enough housing to keep up with the need.”, said Lawson Chairman, Steve Lawson.  “Affordable communities with supportive services like Market Heights are a critical component of the housing solution, but so much more needs to be done.”

Lawson is proud to share that Lawson Chairman, Steve Lawson has been recognized on the Inside Business Power List 2023 Top 20.

The Inside Business Power List is an annual showcase of decision makers and influencers impacting the Hampton Roads economy. This year’s list organizes the Top 20 by influence and is followed by an additional 60 power players in the region.

Lawson was selected for the Top 20 for his contributions to affordable housing in Hampton Roads and throughout Virginia. Through The Lawson Companies, Lawson oversees a team managing approximately 4,800 apartment units, nearly half of which are affordable communities serving families earning less than 60% of the area median income. The company has nearly 1,200 additional new affordable apartments in their development and construction pipeline.

Lawson is a longtime advocate for equitable, affordable, and supportive housing and has served on the board of the nonprofit HousingForward Virginia and on the Rental Advisory Council of Virginia Housing, the statewide housing finance agency. He has also promoted affordable housing policy via leadership positions with the National Association of Home Builders, provided expert testimony to Congress on multiple occasions, and briefed the last three chairs of the Federal Reserve concerning challenges facing the industry.

“I am so fortunate to be surrounded by great people who understand the vision of top-quality affordable housing that my father set in motion over fifty years ago.”, said Lawson. “I am humbled by the recognition and grateful to our team, without whom we could not do what we do.”

Lawson was previously recognized with the Urban League of Hampton Roads Martin Luther King Community Leader Award in housing in 2023, and a Human Rights Award from the Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission in 2019 for his contributions to affordable and supportive housing.

Lawson is pleased to announce that Marla Posey has been    re-appointed to a second term as a legislative representative for the Virginia Apartment Management Association. The organization, which represents more than 260,000 units in the rental housing industry, provides legislative and advocacy services as well as educational and networking opportunities. 

Posey is the Director of Training and Development for Lawson’s property operations department and Development Liaison for new projects.  

With the Virginia Apartment Management Association, Posey evaluates lobbying efforts and legislative strategy and testifies before General Assembly committees.

Lawson is thrilled to announce that the company has ranked number 57 in the nationwide Best Places to Work Multifamily® for Women, published annually by Multifamily Leadership.

The Best Places to Work Multifamily® program is utilized by Lawson and other companies to measure employee satisfaction and identify opportunities for improvement in the workplace and company culture. The assessment process evaluates employee policies and procedures as well as anonymous survey responses and comments from employees.

To be eligible for the Best Places to Work Multifamily® for Women ranking, companies must have a minimum of 15 females working for them, or 25% of their workforce, whichever is greater. In addition, the response rate from women must be 40% or higher, unless the total number of women at the company is less than 25, in which case the response rate must be 80% or higher. The rankings are determined by the percentage of positive responses from women, from largest to smallest.

Positively Impacting People is our company purpose.”, said Lawson Senior Director of Human Resources, Julie Richardson. “Those words guide everything we do, including hiring, onboarding, employee retention, benefits administration, and anything else that affects our team members.”

Lawson also ranked number 23 on the 2023 Best Places to Work Multifamily® list.

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