Will Cooper Sr. Honored with National Affordable Housing Award
February 8, 2012 - Will Cooper Sr. has been honored as the recipient of the Robert J. Corletta Award for Affordable Housing by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The presentation was made Feb. 6 in Orlando, Fla., at the NAHB International Builders’ Show.
“Will is a recognized leader in the affordable housing industry,” said NAHB chair Bob Nielsen, a home builder and developer in Reno. Nev. “He has advocated for the establishment and advancement of Low Income Housing Tax Credit legislation and raised awareness of the great need for affordable housing in Congressional testimony.”
Nielsen presented the award with the assistance of Corletta’s widow, Kathy Corletta, and David Cole, chief operating officer for the Neighborhood Development Collaborative.
Cooper founded WNC & Associates, based in Irvine, Calif., in 1971 and was one of the first affordable housing investors in the country. In the last 40 years, the company’s portfolio has grown to include more than $5 billion in assets, spanning more than 1,100 properties in 45 states and garnered a number of national design awards as well as recognition for its services for low-income Americans.
In addition to his volunteer leadership work at NAHB at the local, state and national level, Cooper has also been an active member of the Urban Land Institute, the National Housing Conference and the National Rural Housing Coalition, among other associations.
The Robert J. Corletta Award is named for the late director of multifamily operations at NAHB, who died in 1998. Corletta was instrumental in the creation of the Neighborhood Development Collaborative, a nonprofit think tank and advisor to financial institutions and and government agencies on the implementation of the Community Reinvestment Act.
“Bob was always at the forefront of these issues, never swaying from his deep conviction that affordable housing must be a national priority,” Nielsen said. “Will understands this legacy and has continued Bob’s leadership. I am proud that NAHB has honored Will with the Robert J. Corletta Award.”