Ocean Township, NJ — New affordable housing for seniors, financed in part with Superstorm Sandy recovery funds, marked its grand opening with New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta, local officials, and representatives of Community Investment Strategies, Inc.
Heritage Village at Oakhurst in Ocean Township, Monmouth County, includes 93 rental units for seniors, with five units set aside for homeless individuals with special needs. Eighty-seven of the units are targeted for residents earning up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income.
The $23.2 million development was awarded $11 million in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery funds through the Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing (FRM) Program. The FRM Program was created in the aftermath of Sandy and provides qualified housing developers with subsidies in the form of zero- and low-interest loans to finance the development of affordable housing in the nine counties the federal government designated as the most impacted by the storm.
Heritage Village at Oakhurst also was awarded $11.4 million in financing from the HMFA, $500,000 from the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund, and 4 percent federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which generated approximately $6.4 million in private equity for the project.
“It is important to continue to allocate Sandy recovery funds to affordable housing projects that are located in storm-impacted counties in the state,” said New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Charles A. Richman, who also serves as chairman of the HMFA board. “Sandy recovery initiatives like the FRM program are helping to meet the housing needs of people, including seniors and individuals with special needs who can find it more difficult to recover from disasters due to damaged or displaced support networks, accessibility issues or increased cost of living.”
During the first 90 days of lease up, priority for residency was given to individuals who were displaced by or experienced major or severe storm damage from Superstorm Sandy. Sandy-impacted residents can learn more about affordable housing projects funded with Sandy recovery dollars by visiting the New Jersey Housing Resource Center at www.njhrc.gov and clicking on “Priority Housing for Sandy-Impacted Residents,” which will take visitors to a site listing flyers on available housing by county.
“This worthwhile development is not only providing affordable housing opportunities for senior citizens in Monmouth County, but it is also helping replenish the stock of affordable rental housing lost to Sandy,” said HMFA Executive Director Marchetta. “HMFA hopes to receive federal approval later this year to provide a fourth round of FRM funding, which has been critical to creating affordable housing in counties and communities hardest hit by the storm.”
The development is located adjacent to an area with extensive commercial development along State Highway 35. It is also located near large county and municipal parks with walking trails, tennis courts and a pool. Heritage Village at Oakhurst replaced a senior housing community partially destroyed by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.
HMFA estimates that the construction of Heritage Village at Oakhurst generated approximately $36.8 million in one-time economic output and created approximately 220 direct and indirect/induced full-time jobs and $1.3 million in state and local taxes. Now completed, the project will continue to add value to the community by providing more than $4.1 million in ongoing economic output, 24 direct and indirect/induced full-time jobs annually, and nearly $232,000 in state and local taxes.
Heritage Village at Oakhurst was built by Community Investment Strategies, Inc., a certified woman-owned business enterprise that develops affordable and market-rate housing. Social services, including case management, will be provided to special needs residents by Collaborative Support Programs of NJ, Inc.
For more information on the Sandy Special Needs Housing Fund and other HMFA programs, please visit www.njhousing.gov.