October 1, 2012 - Christie Administration Marks Groundbreaking of 72-Unit Affordable Housing Community in Hopewell Township
CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION MARKS GROUNDBREAKING OF
Freedom Village to Provide 20 Affordable Housing Units for Individuals with Special Needs
HOPEWELL TWP., N.J. – New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta and Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Deputy Commissioner Charles Richman today joined township officials and representatives of Project Freedom, Inc. to celebrate the groundbreaking of Freedom Village, an affordable housing community for individuals with special needs and low to moderate-income families in Hopewell Township. The HMFA, an affiliate of the DCA, has provided permanent and construction financing for this project through the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund and an allocation of federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits.
“Freedom Village represents not just an expansion of affordable housing options in the Hopewell Township area, but it will serve as an asset to the surrounding community,” said DCA Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III, who is Chair of the HMFA. “We are proud to be involved in projects such as these because they create high-quality affordable housing for those New Jersey households who need it.”
Once completed, the six two-story, “L”-shaped buildings of Freedom Village at Hopewell Township will feature 72 housing units of which 20 will be set aside for individuals with special needs. Each building will have an elevator and all the housing units will be wheelchair accessible. The units will feature wider doors and hallways, energy efficient appliances, central heating and air-conditioning, accessible kitchens, baths with roll-in showers, and wall-to-wall carpeting.
The project will be affordable to households under 60 percent of the area median income and will include rental assistance for the 20 units for individuals with special needs through the state’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Division of Developmental Disabilities. Supportive services for all residents will be provided by Project Freedom, Inc., Catholic Charities of Trenton, and Opportunities for All, Inc.
“We commend Project Freedom, Inc., Hopewell Township, and other stakeholders for recognizing the need for affordable supportive housing. Future residents will now have the opportunity to live in an environment that fosters independence,” said HMFA Executive Director Anthony Marchetta. “The HMFA is happy to play a role in getting this project off the ground. It truly advances our goal of making affordable housing a reality for more and more residents of the state.”
The HMFA has committed a first mortgage of $4.7 million to the project, as well as $1 million in financing from the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund. The project will also receive $9.3 million in equity generated by the sale of federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits.
The Agency is the administrator of the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program for New Jersey. The credits are a dollar-for-dollar reduction in federal tax liability and act as a catalyst to attract private investment into the affordable housing market. The credits are sold to an investor by the developer; the proceeds from this sale enable the developer to take out a smaller mortgage which allows for more affordable rents.
Currently, there are more than 500 projects statewide in HMFA’s portfolio that contain over 32,000 tax credit housing units that were developed with the help of Low Income Housing Tax Credits. New Jersey is annually allocated approximately $18 million in low housing income tax credits. The sale of the credits produces over $162 million in project equity.
Other project funding includes $600,000 in Mercer County HOME funds and $1.4 million from the Federal Home Loan Bank. Additional financial assistance has also been provided through the Hopewell Township Affordable Housing Trust Fund and a loan from TD Bank.
Project Freedom, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that develops and operates barrier-free housing to enable individuals with disabilities to live independently. Supportive services such as recreation, training and advocacy are also provided to help people with disabilities to live independently in a non-medical environment.
For more information on HMFA programs, please call 1-800-NJHOUSE or (609) 278-7400, or log on to www.state.nj.us/dca/hmfa/.