Christie Administration Awards Loan to Help Create Affordable Housing in Sandy-Impacted County
TRENTON, NJ – As part of the Christie Administration’s ongoing efforts to revitalize the nine counties most impacted by Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Acting Commissioner Charles Richman and New Jersey Redevelopment Authority (NJRA) Executive Director Leslie A. Anderson today announced the award of $500,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery funds to cover the predevelopment costs of 30 units of affordable housing in Union County.
The NJRA Board recently committed a $500,000 low-interest loan through the Predevelopment Fund for Affordable Rental Housing to the Plainfield Area YMCA to help it prepare for the development of 30 housing units at its Watchung Avenue facility in Plainfield. The project will provide safe and permanent housing for youths ages 18 to 22 who have aged out of the foster care system. The housing will include case management and a comprehensive package of supportive services until the youths have the skills and confidence to live independently.
“This project will help bring stability to some of our state’s most vulnerable young people while also investing in a community located in one of the nine counties most impacted by Sandy,” said Acting Commissioner Richman.
“All projects receiving Predevelopment Fund loans must help to revitalize a community that has been directly or indirectly impacted by Superstorm Sandy,” said NJRA Executive Director Anderson. “Through the Plainfield Area YMCA project, young men and women who have aged out of foster care will be able to transition to a caring living environment where they can strengthen their social skills and such values as responsibility, respect and honesty before heading out on their own to positively contribute to their community.”
The Predevelopment Fund program provides a source of low-cost financing to help non-profit developers cover costs related to converting properties that are currently unsafe, underutilized or in foreclosure into affordable rental housing. The loans may be used for a variety of predevelopment costs, including but not limited to project feasibility studies, legal fees, soil studies, site preparation, appraisals, and surveys.
The loan for this project will support the redevelopment of the second and third floors of the Watchung Avenue facility into efficiency apartments and common areas for young people participating in the Plainfield YMCA Housing for Aging Out Youth Project. The facility is located within walking distance of downtown Plainfield, which has full service grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, Union County College, public transportation and a host of supportive services. All of the housing units for this project will be reserved for youth whose incomes are below 60 percent of Area Median Income. All units will have project-based rent subsidies that will allow the youths to pay no more than 30 percent of their respective household income toward rent and utilities.
Other projects to receive assistance through the Predevelopment Fund for Affordable Rental Housing include the conversion of a former hotel in Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County, into 84 units of affordable housing; the redevelopment of former brownfield sites in Jersey City into 64 units of affordable housing; and the redevelopment of a vacant, municipally-contributed property in Ocean Township, Monmouth County, into 93 units of affordable housing for low- to moderate-income people aged 55 and older.
The New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, a DCA affiliate, is an independent authority committed to revitalizing urban New Jersey. The NJRA invests financial and technical resources into redevelopment projects to ensure that projects are urban-focused, neighborhood-based and investment-driven.
Non-profit developers wishing to apply to the Predevelopment Fund for Affordable Rental Housing can download an application on the NJRA website at http://www.njra.us/njra/site/default.asp. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis until all funds are allocated.
All NJRA Board actions, including approval of the Predevelopment Fund for Affordable Rental Housing award, will take effect at the expiration of the statutory period for the Governor’s review and consideration of the meeting minutes.