Navigate Affordable Housing Partners
Navigate Affordable Housing Partners, Inc. (formerly Jefferson County Assisted Housing Corporation or JCAHC) is a non-profit residential management corporation formed as a division of the Jefferson County Housing Authority. The corporation's offices are located at 2701 1st Avenue South, adjoining the Hugh Kaul Trail.
The organization was incorporated on February 13, 1980 in order to pursue funding under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Developments "Section 8 New Construction Program". As originally constituted, the JCAHC was governed by a self-appointed board, subject to the Housing Authority's approval of new appointees and annual budgets.
Through that program, the JCAHC began construction of the Spring Gardens apartment complex for the elderly and disabled in northern Tarrant. The first 100 units, known as Spring Gardens I, were completed in 1982. An additional 144 units and a community center were later added with block grant funding, managed by the JCAHC. By 2011 the agency derived 99.9% of its revenues from Section 8 contract management.
Later, the JCAHC qualified as a Participating Administrative Entity (PAE) for HUD's Office of Multi-Family Housing Assistance Restructuring with jurisdiction over the entire State of Alabama. It has helped to preserve 2,500 affordable housing units in the state through that association. Navigate also provides grant funding to various organizations that provide services to its residents.
The corporation changed its name to Navigate Affordable Housing Partners in 2011, and partnered with the Jefferson County Housing Authority in a joint venture to provide Section 8 contract administration services for about 60,000 units in Alabama, Mississippi, Connecticut and Virginia. In January 2017 the City of Birmingham entered into a $4.75 million contract with Navigate, supported by Disaster Recovery Funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, to develop the "One Pratt" planned residential area and park in the North Pratt neighborhood, which was ravaged by the April 2011 tornado outbreak.
Navigate Affordable Housing Partners was given the 2017 "Inspiration Award" by the NAHMA Educational Foundation for its commitment to funding scholarships through the foundation.
Navigate Affordable Housing Partners currently employs 55 people in Birmingham; Richmond, Virginia; Jackson, Mississippi; and Hartford, Connecticut and has an annual budget of $450 million. In addition to its primary role as a direct provider of affordable housing services, Navigate also markets its consulting capabilities to help other businesses engage in the affordable and public housing market.
Navigate moved to Jemison Flats from 500 Office Park Drive in early 2017. The organization purchased the former Marc Steel building at 600 6th Avenue South in 2019. In 2022 it purchased the former Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood offices at 2701 1st Avenue South for $3.8 million.
Navigate partnered with the Housing Affordability Trust, Design Initiative, and Alabama Power's "Smart Neighborhood" initiative to develop "Live on 1st", a row of modular detached all-electric "smart houses" on 1st Street South in North Titusville. Development of the project began in 2018 and the houses were occupied in May 2022.
- Wright, Barnett (May 22, 2015) "Executives paid nearly $900K at housing non-profit few knew about." The Birmingham News
- Edgemon, Erin (January 7, 2017) "Disaster relief continues in Birmingham's Pratt City with new housing, park proposed." The Birmingham News
- "NAHMA Educational Foundation Honors Navigate Affordable Housing Partners" (July 27, 2017) NAHMA Educational Foundation press release
- Parker, Illyshia (February 17, 2022) "Navigate Affordable Housing Partners, Alabama Power bring smart homes to Titusville." Birmingham Business Journal
- Parker, Illyshia (November 8, 2022) "Navigate Affordable Housing Partners purchases office building." Birmingham Business Journal