New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency

New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency

DCA, HMFA Break Ground on First Phase of New Alexander Hamilton Project in Paterson

For Immediate Release:
October 22, 2009
Lisa Ryan
(609) 292-6055

Old Alexander Hamilton Public Housing Site to Be Demolished for Project

PATERSON, N.J. – New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) Executive Director Marge Della Vecchia today joined local officials to break ground on Phase I of the new Alexander Hamilton Housing Development, which will be built at the site of the old public housing complex of the same name. The HMFA, an affiliate of the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), is providing $7.6 million in mortgage, tax credit and special needs housing funding for the affordable housing family project at 259-275 Alabama Avenue in Paterson.

“For six decades, this property has been used for affordable housing and it will continue to be used as such well into the future,” said DCA Acting Commissioner Charles A. Richman. “Once completed, this project will be a desirable community that meets the needs of families in the 21st century. I have no doubt that the people of Paterson will be proud of the Alexander Hamilton Housing Development and the affordable housing it will provide the area’s hardworking families.”

Originally constructed in the 1950s, the Alexander Hamilton public housing site consisted of 498 units in 14 buildings spanning almost 10 acres. With the property now fully vacant, the buildings will be demolished to make way for the first of four phases of construction. 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.

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.

“This project presents the City of Paterson with an opportunity for neighborhood revitalization and better housing for low and moderate income families. Federal, state and local officials have been working for years to make this project a reality and it is gratifying to finally break ground on what will be a great community for families to raise their children and grandchildren,” said HMFA Executive Director Della Vecchia.

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. The HMFA has been charged with distributing the $61,243,670 that the State of New Jersey has received TCAP funding. The program assists in closing the funding gap created by the drop in equity pricing and to activate affordable housing construction stalled by the economic downturn.

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.

The project is being developed by Pennrose Properties, a Philadelphia-based real estate developer and property manager, in partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Paterson.

For more information on HMFA programs, please call 1-800-NJHOUSE or 609-278-7400, or log on to