DCA & HMFA Dedicate Mixed-Use Development in Jersey City

Fred W. Martin Apartments and Shops Feature
Affordable Housing Units for
 People with Special Needs


JERSEY CITY, N.J. – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lori Grifa today joined Jersey City Mayor Jeremiah Healy, state and local elected officials, and project developers to celebrate the completion of Fred W. Martin Apartments and Shops, a mixed-use development located on Martin Luther King Drive that features 39 affordable housing units, including apartments for individuals with special needs. The DCA and New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA), a DCA affiliate, committed funding for the project.

"We at the DCA and HMFA are identifying and maximizing our resources to help facilitate many more housing opportunities for our special needs populations. Today's dedication ceremony certainly brings further evidence of that aim, as well as hope and optimism to those who have waited so long for viable special needs housing," said DCA Commissioner Lori Grifa, who is Chair of the HMFA. "I commend all of the people connected with this exceptional project, which not only provides a home for merchants who will create potential jobs, but also serves the important objective of helping to house some of our neediest residents."   

The four-story building consists of 39 residential apartments, with retail/commercial space on the ground floor. Ten of the units are reserved for tenants with special needs, particularly people with mental disabilities. Jersey City Medical Center Integrated Case Management Services is providing supportive services for those residents with special needs.

"For so many people with disabilities, the availability and accessibility of community housing can be a challenge," said Department of Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez. "This initiative – and others like it around the state – is providing much needed community living options and opportunities."

Of the units at Fred W. Martin Apartments, 35 have rents affordable to low-income households earning 50 percent or less of the Area Median Income (AMI) and 4 are affordable to very-low-income households earning 35 percent or less of AMI. All units comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, with additional adherence to HMFA's Special Needs Design Checklist for the 10 supportive housing units.

"By setting aside 10 apartments for persons who have mental disabilities, Fred W. Martin Apartments is one of the many examples of New Jersey's response to meet its obligation under the Olmstead Act, a Supreme Court decision that requires states to allow people with developmental or mental disabilities to live in the community to the fullest extent possible," said HMFA Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta. "Through a combination of funding, I am pleased the HMFA was able to provide significant financial resources to this worthwhile project."

The HMFA provided $1 million in financing to the project from the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund that it administers and awarded nearly $6.65 million in Tax Credit Exchange subsidy. The Agency is the administrator of federal tax credit programs for New Jersey, including the Tax Credit Exchange Program, which is designed to activate affordable housing construction stalled by the economic downturn.

The DCA provided $2,663,000 in financing from the Neighborhood Preservation Balanced Housing Program, as well as housing vouchers from the State Rental Assistance Program to assist with the project's operations. Funding also came from the Jersey City Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Fred W. Martin Apartments was developed by the New Jersey City Urban Renewal Affordable Housing, LLC and named for Jersey City’s first African-American councilman.

For more information on HMFA programs, please call 1-800-NJHOUSE or (609) 278-7400, or log on to www.nj-hmfa.com. For more information on the Balanced Housing or State Rental Assistance programs, please log on to www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/ on the DCA website.