HMFA Breaks Ground on Barrier-Free Affordable Housing Community in Woodstown, Salem County
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For Immediate Release: Contact:
October 20, 2009 Lisa Ryan
 

HMFA Breaks Ground on Barrier-Free Affordable Housing Community in Woodstown, Salem County

Nearly $8 million in tax credits and special needs housing funding will serve to enable individuals with disabilities to live independently

WOODSTOWN, N.J. – New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) Executive Director Marge Della Vecchia today joined local officials to break ground on Freedom Village, a 60-unit affordable housing development located on Woodstown-Alloway Road in Woodstown. The HMFA, an affiliate of the Department of Community Affairs, is providing nearly $8 million in tax credit and special needs housing funding for the project, which will feature apartments that are completely wheelchair accessible.

“Project Freedom Inc. has worked hard for years to bring quality affordable housing to Salem County for people with disabilities and the HMFA is happy to have played a role in making that dream a reality,” said HMFA Executive Director Della Vecchia. “Governor Corzine has laid the groundwork to ensure that housing is available to all New Jerseyans and Freedom Village is a good example of the worthwhile projects that have resulted from New Jersey’s affordable housing efforts.”

Freedom Village will include five elevator-serviced, two-story buildings consisting of twelve apartments each. There will be 12 one-bedroom and 36 two-bedroom units all of which will have a kitchen, full bathroom, living room, dining room, energy efficient appliances, central heating and air conditioning and wall-to-wall carpeting. There will also be 12 three-bedroom units, which will feature an extra half bathroom.

As part of the barrier-free design, the apartments will have large rooms, wide doorways and hallways, wheelchair accessible kitchens, lower windows, roll-in showers, and laundry facilities on each floor.

Other project amenities include a community center, lounge and activity areas, and multipurpose meeting rooms. New Jersey Transit operates a bus line less than a quarter of a mile away on Route 40/45.

The project will provide 10 units to individuals who are developmentally disabled and are referred by the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities. An additional 10 units will be for individuals who come from the general population, but who need accessible living arrangements. These 20 units will be affordable to individuals whose income is at or below 20 percent of the area median income (AMI). The remaining 40 units will be targeted to those whose income is at or below 60 percent AMI.

To help fund the project, the HMFA is allocating $2 million from the New Jersey Special Needs Housing Trust Fund, which it administers. The Agency is also providing $1.2 million in Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP) funds that are being made available under the federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009. The State of New Jersey has received TCAP funding in the amount of $61,243,670 and the HMFA has been charged with distributing the tax credits. The program assists in closing the funding gap created by the drop in equity pricing and to activate affordable housing construction stalled by the economic downturn. It is also aimed at immediately creating new jobs or saving jobs at risk of being lost due to the economy.

Freedom Village also received 10 project-based rental vouchers from the State Rental Assistance Program, which is operated by the Department of Community Affairs. The vouchers will subsidize 10 tenants so that they must only contribute 30 percent of their income as rental payment.

The project is being developed by Project Freedom, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Robbinsville, NJ, that develops and operates barrier-free housing to enable individuals with disabilities to live independently.

For more information on HMFA programs, please call 1-800-NJHOUSE or 609-278-7400, or log on to www.nj-hmfa.com.