TRENTON, NJ — On January 17, 2024, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) celebrates its 40th anniversary. Since its founding 40 years ago, NJHMFA’s programs have directly benefited hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents by providing affordable housing options and vital mortgage assistance. Through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, NJHMFA has financed 70,000 apartments, over 66,000 of which are affordable to low- and moderate-income households. Another 112 new multifamily developments are underway, which together will bring online another 9,000 affordable units. NJHMFA has helped more than 10,000 families buy their first home, representing more than $2 billion in market value at the time of purchase and nearly the same again in wealth created through equity. NJHMFA has also helped more than 56,000 families facing housing instability by providing counseling and financial assistance. Beyond the numbers, NJHMFA’s work has improved thousands of lives: families have found stable homes, neighborhoods have been revitalized, and individuals have found support in their time of greatest need. Against this backdrop, NJHMFA’s 40th anniversary commemorates not only the Agency’s work, but the substantial impact investment in New Jersey’s residents can have on our communities and our future.
“For 40 years, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency has helped many thousands of New Jerseyans become new homeowners,” said Governor Murphy. “Our Administration’s partnership with NJHMFA has been essential to creating access to more affordable housing throughout our state. As the agency reaches this incredible milestone of an anniversary, we recognize the many programs the agency has created to make the American dream attainable for so many in our state.”
“NJHMFA exists to make New Jersey housing affordable to all New Jerseyans, and for 40 years, it has delivered. We have deployed innovative programs, policies, and partnerships, becoming a nationally recognized leader in affordable housing development and producing numerous award-winning and landmark properties,” said Executive Director Melanie Walter. “NJHMFA is proud of the positive impact that we have on the lives of all New Jerseyans, particularly those looking for apartments or first homes that are affordable to them in the communities where they want to live. We look forward to continuing to support community development and revitalization in the years ahead.”
“Congratulations to the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) on 40 years of progressive and innovative work making communities more diverse, and municipalities economically stronger,” said DCA Acting Commissioner Jacquelyn A. Suárez. “Today, New Jersey families and individuals with specialized housing needs have more options when seeking safe, affordable, and stable rental housing and homeownership opportunities. Without a doubt, New Jerseyans will continue to benefit from NJHMFA’s transformative work in the future.”
NJHMFA was created by an act of the New Jersey legislature merging the New Jersey Housing Finance Agency (HFA) and the New Jersey Mortgage Finance Agency (MFA) into a single organization to house the state’s affordable housing production capacity for both multifamily and single-family housing. Today, NJHMFA oversees a multifamily production portfolio that has grown to exceed $1.3 billion each year, and an approximately $1 billion annual single-family mortgage program. Over the past 40 years, NJHMFA has become the New Jersey state allocator of the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), the host of the state’s preeminent down payment assistance program for new homebuyers, and the administrator of federal assistance programs designed to protect homeowners against the impacts of economic downturns.
Through the LIHTC program, created in 1986, NJHMFA has financed the creation or preservation of over 75,000 affordable apartments across 1,010 properties, with 66,000 of these units already completed and another 9,000 units forthcoming. These projects have provided thousands of low- and moderate-income residents throughout the state with safe and high-quality homes, cumulatively generated billions of dollars in the direct and indirect economic impacts of new construction, supported thousands of jobs, and helped municipalities advance their community development goals.
At the same time, NJHMFA has consistently expanded homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income households. Since the 2017 expansion in single-family programs, NJHMFA has allocated over $100 million in down payment and closing cost assistance to approximately 10,000 first-time low-and moderate-income homebuyers. These borrowers were able to make home purchases cumulatively valued at over $2 billion. Despite the challenges of recent interest rate hikes, this initiative has continued to grow, assisting about 2,500 households in 2023 alone. That same year, NJHMFA created a program specifically tailored to the needs of first-generation homebuyers, making New Jersey one of only a handful of states to offer such assistance.
In addition to creating multifamily housing opportunities and offering access to homeownership opportunities, NJHMFA works to effectively protect quality of life throughout the state by preventing the loss of homeownership. When the housing market collapsed in 2008, NJHMFA provided more than $320 million to over 8,000 impacted homeowners, as well as housing counseling that helped struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure. More than 56,000 New Jersey families have benefitted from NJHMFA’s free housing counseling initiatives. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, NJHMFA developed the federally funded ERMA program, which has distributed more than $150 million to help more than 5,000 homeowners avoid foreclosure so far.
As NJHMFA marks its 40th anniversary, it uses the lessons of the past to shape its clear vision for the future. The Agency seeks to expand its impact, leveraging data resources, technology, and state and federal resources to meet the many diverse housing needs in evidence across the state. It will continue building strong community and development partnerships, optimizing resources, and addressing emerging housing issues proactively. In these ways, NJHMFA will remain at the forefront of New Jersey affordability, accessibility, and sustainability, supporting NJ residents and fostering community well-being in the decades ahead.
About Us: The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) advances the quality of life for residents of and communities throughout New Jersey by investing in, financing, and facilitating access to affordable rental housing and homeownership opportunities for low and moderate-income families, older adults, and individuals with specialized housing needs. To learn more about NJHMFA, visit: https://NJHousing.gov/