Development Continues Revitalization of Former Public Housing Complex
CAMDEN – State and local officials, including New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHFMA) Executive Director Charles A. Richman, marked the groundbreaking today of 72 affordable rental apartments for families – the next phase in the redevelopment of a dilapidated and obsolete public housing complex in the city’s Centerville neighborhood.
Branch Village Townhomes, which will occupy the site of the former Clement T. Branch Village, will include nine new three-story buildings housing one- to three-bedroom apartments for residents earning up to 60 percent of area median income (AMI). Five units will be set aside for homeless individuals.
Clement T. Branch Village is the last traditional public housing development in the neighborhood’s Mt. Ephraim Avenue corridor, a main thoroughfare to the east of the development. Five two-story brick buildings were demolished, and two new public roads will be introduced, breaking up the block of public housing buildings that isolated former residents from the rest of the neighborhood. The development partners are Michaels Development and the Housing Authority of the City of Camden (HACC). All residents were relocated by HACC and can opt to return to the new townhomes once completed.
"Branch Village Townhomes are a key component of the revitalization of this site, which we have been involved with from the beginning, and ensures our continued commitment to providing housing that is affordable to families," said NJHMFA Executive Director Richman. "Residents will have modern, safe and attractive homes that will not only improve the quality of their lives, but enhance the overall neighborhood."
NJHMFA provided the $21.5 million development with $2.6 million in financing, and also awarded competitive 9 percent LIHTCs, which are expected to generate $15.5 million in private equity. Additional financing includes $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) CHOICE Neighborhoods grant program; a $13.4 million construction loan from TD Bank; and a $4.1 million commercial mortgage from Berkadia Commercial Mortgage.
Construction on the new townhomes is anticipated to be complete by December 2019. Rents will range from $824 for a one-bedroom apartment to $994 for a two-bedroom apartment and $1,234 for a three-bedroom apartment. All 72 units will receive rental subsidies under HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Project-Based Vouchers Program.
The Centerville neighborhood has a long history in Camden, with parts of it dating back to the 19th century. Close to the river and transportation, it was an area of early growth and development. The groundbreaking marks the continued revitalization of the neighborhood. In December, the first phase of the redevelopment, financed in part by NJHMFA, opened with 50 affordable one- to two-bedroom rental apartments.
Better Tomorrows, a New Jersey nonprofit 501(c) organization, will coordinate supportive services for the residents of the five set aside apartments. Their social services will be centered around four key areas of assistance to help the residents with education, financial stability, health and wellness, and strong communities. Currently Better Tomorrows provides services to residents of 100 of Michaels-owned affordable housing communities throughout the United States.
Michaels Development, based in Marlton, has created high-quality, environmentally conscious and financially successful communities that offer affordable housing opportunities to more than 100,000 residents.
For more information on NJHMFA programs, visit njhousing.gov.