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Two New Affordable Housing Developments

Joe Malinconico / PatersonPress.com

Friday, May 6, 2011 • 9:42pm

 

PATERSON, NJ - With two new housing developments on the verge of opening, city officials are about to take applications from residents looking to qualify for federal Section 8 subsidies.
 
The Belmont Senior Apartments, an 85-unit building at the corner of Belmont Avenue and Cliff Street, and the first 80 units of The Heritage at Alexander Hamilton at Alabama Avenue are expected to in the next couple months, said Irma Gorham, executive director of the Paterson Housing Authority.
 
All the apartments at Belmont will be available to tenants with Section 8 vouchers, while 60 of the units at Alexander Hamilton will be available for the subsidies, she said.
 
Sometime in the next couple weeks, the housing agency plans to publish in local newspapers "pre-applications" for folks looking to qualify for federal Section 8 rental subsidies, Gorham said. The applications will not be available at the housing authority's offices, she said.
 
The agency then plans to establish a list of 500 eligible tenants for these units and other Section 8 housing in the city, Gorham said. Eventually, a lottery will be conducted to establish residents' ranking on the list, she said.
 
The developments are joint ventures involving the housing authority, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HFMA), and private companies.
 
Pennrose Properties of Philadelphia is the developer for Alexander Hamilton, which replaces a city housing project that was demolished several years ago after it became overrun with crime and drug trafficking. Roizman Development of Plymouth Meeting, Pa. is the developer for Belmont.
 
The following information was provided by the HFMA:
 
The HMFA provided $7.6 million in mortgage, tax credit and special needs housing funding for the Alexander Hamilton development.
 
Originally constructed in the 1950s, the Alexander Hamilton public housing site consisted of 498 units in 14 buildings spanning almost 10 acres.  Phase I will consist of a family building with 80 units. There will be 14 one-bedroom, 40 two-bedroom, 20 three-bedroom and 6 four-bedroom apartments in the building, according to the HMFA.

Twenty of the units will be set aside for homeless and/or disabled grandparents raising grandchildren who are minors. A supportive services provider will be engaged to ensure that the special needs of this population are met.

The HMFA approved a mortgage commitment of approximately $2.4 million to fund this phase of the project and is allocating $2 million from the New Jersey Special Needs Housing Trust Fund, which it administers. Additionally, the Agency is providing $3.2 million in Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP) funds that are being made available under the federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.

 

Phase I funding also includes $2.1 million in replacement housing funds from the Housing Authority of the City of Paterson and $2.5 million in Regional Contribution Agreement (RCA) Funds from Wayne Township. Under its RCA with Wayne Township, Paterson agreed to accept part of the township’s affordable housing obligation for a fee. Some of that money will now be used to fund the Alexander Hamilton project.

When all four phases of the project are completed, Alexander Hamilton will house a total of 169 rental apartments and 32 for-sale homes, totaling 201 units of mixed-finance, affordable family housing. In each phase of the revitalization, the natural environment will be enhanced with passive, active and secure green spaces.

Reconfigured networks of streets, infrastructure and other public improvements will be designed to seamlessly connect the Alexander Hamilton site into the surrounding communities. For example, the Family and Youth Investment Center, which was constructed in 1996 and includes an alternative high school, will be integrated into the housing development.

Meanwhile, the HMFA has committed $2.8 million in mortgage funding for the Belmont project.

 

The four-story building will include 81 one-bedroom apartments and 4 two-bedroom units, featuring a living room/dining area, kitchen, bathroom, walk-in closet and emergency call system accessed from the bedroom and bathroom. All the units will meet Energy Star standards for energy efficiency and be handicapped adaptable.

 

The building also has been designed so all people can access it with a minimum of obstacles. Other amenities will include onsite parking, an outdoor pavilion with sitting area for residents, community space with a full kitchen, onsite medical office space for residents that is managed and operated by the Paterson Housing Authority, security patrol, and a series of lounge areas. The building will have two accessible elevators.

The development will provide affordable rental housing for seniors 55 years and older whose incomes do not exceed 60 percent of the area median income. Ten percent of the units will be designated for households whose income does not exceed 35 percent of the area median income and 20 percent will be set aside for frail elderly tenants who need help in performing at least two basic daily living tasks.
 

A supportive service coordinator will be assigned to the building to work with the tenants. The coordinator will interview new residents to determine what needs they have and will encourage all residents to participate in educational, senior-focused programs on financial management, household budgeting and nutrition.

The HMFA has provided approximately $2.8 million in mortgage financing for the project and allocated $3.14 million in Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP) funds that are being made available under the federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009. The HMFA has been charged with distributing the TCAP funds, which aim to jumpstart affordable housing construction stalled by the economic downturn. It is also aimed at immediately creating new jobs or saving jobs at risk of being lost due to the economy.

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