Vecino Group honored with MOWHA Innovation Award.

As it has for the past decade, the Vecino Group looks forward to attending the Missouri Workforce Housing Association (MOWHA) Conference each year. For 2024, affordable housing colleagues from across the state gathered in Lake of the Ozarks on May 29th through the 31st to reflect on the past year, share stories and learnings, and to discuss the future of housing in the Show Me state.

This year offered an additional surprise for Vecino: the MOWHA 2024 Innovation in Affordable Housing Award.

“You’re going to hear a lot about our Innovation honoree tomorrow at our affordable housing and health panel, because they are experts in that,” said MOWHA Executive Director Jeff Smith as he announced the award. “Vecino is being honored because their approach and philosophy are really unique. Their approach of different models—for instance Intrada focused on youth transitioning adulthood; Talia for survivors of domestic violence, and Freedom Springs for homeless veterans—is really meaningful.”

Smith continued, “Across all these different areas the work that Vecino is doing—not just to house people, but to address societal challenges all over the country—is having a huge impact.”

“And all in just 13 years. 63 developments across 13 states is a tremendous record of accomplishment.”

“We’re humbled by this—and quite surprised,” Vecino Group Mission Ambassador Jordan Gibson said. “We’re thankful to all the members of MOWHA and everyone for this honor. Our Vecino team shows up each day ready to deliver the greater good for communities across Missouri. But we know it takes the community at every level to make it happen—so we’re thankful for and share this with our partners and all of you here today.”

Since its start around a kitchen table more than a decade ago in Springfield, MO, the Vecino Group set a goal not just to provide affordable housing, but to make it impactful. It has pursued affordable, workforce and permanent supportive housing through an approach called “development for the greater good”. This means that every development must address a broader need, set an example, give back to the community.

Kim Buche—one of Vecino’s three founders at that kitchen table—was in attendance.

“It’s always really special here at the MOWHA conference,” said Buche. “Vecino has been an attendee for a long time, and it’s wonderful to see the event and membership continue to grow. Our success in delivering affordable homes is because we’ve been blessed with really great partners at every turn. And the members of MOWHA are most certainly on this list.”

In addition to attending, the Vecino Group was also a presenter at the conference. Heather Bradley-Geary, Director of Supportive Housing, and Jordan Gibson, Mission Ambassador, led a panel discussion focused on affordable housing, sharing how the Vecino Group emphasizes the health and well-being of residents. It was a perfect discussion to wrap another MOWHA conference focused on housing equality fellow Missourians.

“MOWHA is a great organization that helps to make impactful housing possible,” said Aaron Henry, Vecino Group Chief Financial Officer. “They’ve been a great ally since Vecino’s beginning and our goal to deliver homes and services for Missourians. We’re truly thankful for their team.”

Post-award ceremony at the MOWHA Conference (l to r):  David Allison, Director of Development, Vecino Group; Aaron Henry, CFO, Vecino Group; Kody Redwing, President, Vecino Group; Jeff Smith, Executive Director, MOWHA; Jordan Gibson, Mission Ambassador, Vecino Group; Kim Buche, Chief Administrative Officer, Vecino Group