Project Will Provide 121 Affordable Units for Low-to-Moderate Income Working Families
Jersey City, NJ – New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta today joined local officials, as well as representatives of the Michaels Development Company and the Jersey City Housing Authority to celebrate the groundbreaking of a mixed-income apartment complex, which is being financed with the help of Superstorm Sandy recovery funds.
The Montgomery Gardens Family Phase I project will provide 126 housing units, of which 121 units will be affordable to residents with incomes below 60 percent of the area median income, with seven units set aside for homeless families.
“Superstorm Sandy impacted New Jerseyans of all socioeconomic levels, including low-to-moderate income working families who are often living paycheck to paycheck,” said DCA Commissioner Charles A. Richman, whose Department administers many of the State’s Sandy housing recovery initiatives and who also serves as chairman of the NJHMFA board. “Montgomery Gardens Family Phase I will provide these storm-affected families – and people of limited financial means in general – with much needed affordable housing options in a city that was hit hard by the storm.”
NJHMFA provided $23.5 million in construction and permanent financing through its Conduit Bond program, which enables well-capitalized developers to issue bonds through the Agency at the most competitive interest rates available in the marketplace. NJHMFA also provided $13.9 million in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-DR) Disaster Recovery assistance through the Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing (FRM). The FRM program was created following Superstorm Sandy to provide for-profit and non-profit housing developers an opportunity to secure zero-interest and low-interest loans to finance the development of affordable housing in the nine counties most impacted by the storm.
The project additionally received 4 percent federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits that are expected to generate $17.1 million in private equity, as well as a $1.6 million subsidy from the Federal Home Loan Bank.
The project continues redevelopment efforts at the former Montgomery Gardens public housing complex. Montgomery Gardens Family Phase 1 involves the construction of four buildings to replace three former apartment buildings demolished in 2015.
The new development will accommodate a mix of apartments, ranging in size from one-bedroom to four-bedroom units. Of the 126 units, 26 will be made available as public housing replacement units; 52 will be made available as project-based Section 8 units; 43 will be affordable to individuals whose incomes do not exceed 60 percent of the Hudson County Median Income level adjusted for family size; and five will be unrestricted market rate. Families eligible for an Annual Contributions Contract (ACC) and project-based Section 8 subsidy will pay 30 percent of their income for rent and utilities.
The development will have a preference for former Montgomery Gardens’ residents who had been relocated and wish to return.
Plans also include a community space with a warming kitchen, computer learning center, management and maintenance offices on site, and a fitness facility.
An earlier project in the development, the Catherine Todd Senior Living Center, marked its grand opening in June and involved the substantial rehabilitation of a 10-story vacant building to provide 68 affordable units for seniors, including five units set aside for homeless residents age 62 or older. Future plans for an additional phase involve the demolition of the remaining two public housing buildings and replacing them with 80 units of affordable housing.
“We are proud to continue to be involved in this exciting development to increase affordable housing opportunities in Jersey City,” said NJHMFA Executive Director Marchetta. “Helping residents to remain in the community is an investment in the neighborhood and the overall city.”
Better Tomorrows, the social services arm of Michaels Development Company’s sister company, Interstate Realty Management, will be responsible for the provision of all support services for special needs residents. Better Tomorrows is a New Jersey non-profit corporation, which provides social services to low-income individuals throughout the United States.
During the first 90 days of lease up, priority for residency will be 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 you to a website listing flyers on available housing by county.
Montgomery Gardens Family Phase I is located in a mixed-use area of residential and commercial properties, with a medical center, supermarkets, schools, restaurants, churches and parks nearby. It also has easy access to the New Jersey Turnpike and the PATH rail system.
NJHMFA estimates that Montgomery Gardens Family Phase I project will generate approximately $71.5 million in one-time economic output, defined as the total value of industry production, such as sales and business revenues. During construction, the project is expected to support about 428 direct and indirect/induced full-time equivalent jobs, and generate over $2.6 million in state and local taxes. Once complete, the development is expected to continue to add value to the community by providing nearly $8 million in ongoing economic output, about 45 direct and indirect/induced full-time equivalent jobs, and approximately $451,000 in state and local taxes annually.
Michaels Development Company, based in Marlton, has more than 40 years of experience in producing quality affordable housing.
For more information on the FRM Program and other HMFA programs, please visit www.njhousing.gov.