Image courtesy of the city of Virginia Beach
Image courtesy of the city of Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – October 17, 2019 – The Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission honored Steve Lawson, along with seven other recipients, at its 25th Annual Human Rights Award Ceremony. Lawson was selected for his vision and efforts developing Seaside Harbor Apartments, a one-of-a-kind affordable housing community in the resort area of Virginia Beach.

Lawson, Chairman of the Board of The Lawson Companies and a third-generation builder, spent over three years with his team navigating the complex local, state and federal components to develop and build this truly unique housing facility. Seaside Harbor is a beautiful apartment community for persons with disabilities and families at affordable rental rates. Located at 18th Street and Mediterranean Avenue, just three blocks from the ocean, it includes 76 units, eleven of which are set aside for persons with developmental disabilities, and nineteen are fully accessible ADA units. Lawson’s vision also included a partnership that led Samaritan House and The Lawson Companies to co-develop and co-own in equal parts the 76-unit property, allowing Samaritan House to benefit from income to operate their non-profit programs for years to come.

One nominator described Steve’s character as “philanthropic,” which is truly evident in the way he routinely seeks out partnerships and opportunities to make a positive difference in the lives of vulnerable populations in our community. “I take great pride in building upon both the legacy of my father, Bob Lawson, and the philanthropic heart of my late mother, Nancy Lawson”, said Lawson. After his mother passed away in 1996, Lawson set up a memorial foundation in her honor to support and continue the many years of volunteer teaching she did at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center. For almost 25 years now, The Nancy Bush Lawson Memorial Fund has provided books, testing fees, and other indispensable support to the educational programs at the jail, and the earnings on the endowment can now support these important programs indefinitely.

The Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission stated, “The eight honorees were selected by the commission for their efforts to promote cultural diversity, social awareness, equal opportunity, and human rights in our community.” Other honorees included: Elizabeth Henley-Baumann, Arnetta Spikes, Bruce Smith, Mark Stevens & StandUP for Kids, ViBe Creative District, Pharrell Williams & “Something in the Water” Implementation Team, and the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office.

“I am honored to have received this recognition” continued Lawson, “this project was really a huge win for Samaritan House, the ViBe District, Hope House Foundation, the City of Virginia Beach, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

About Lawson

At Lawson, we understand that what we do – and how we do it – affects the everyday lives of people we care about. Since 1972, we’ve focused on positively impacting the communities we serve, from team members and residents to investors and business partners. We manage and own approximately 5,500 apartments in Virginia and South Carolina and are continuing to grow by developing more apartment communities each year throughout Virginia. Our business model provides vertical integration of development, construction, property management and asset management, which enables our team of experts to add value at every stage for our partners. When you act with integrity, focus on quality and work to find creative solutions, great things are possible. It’s how we’ve done business at Lawson for over 45 years. For more information, visit