LAWNSIDE, N.J. – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III and New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta today highlighted the grand opening of Lawnside Meadows, a 40-unit affordable rental development in the Borough of Lawnside, Camden County, for seniors age 62 and older. The HMFA, an affiliate of the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), awarded Lawnside Meadows federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which generated over $8.9 million in private equity. Other funding consisted of a construction loan from First Niagara Bank, equity generated by historic preservation tax credits, and Camden County HOME funds.
"Lawnside Meadows is an outstanding example of how the public and the private sectors can work together successfully to transform a blighted structure into a thriving, green, affordable housing community," said DCA Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III, who also serves as Chairman of the HMFA. "This innovative redevelopment project preserves history, provides affordable housing to seniors, and helps them reduce their carbon footprint and save money."
A joint venture among the Borough of Lawnside, Camden County Housing Association, and Conifer Realty LLC, Lawnside Meadows is a combination of a rehabilitated historic elementary school with the new construction of a second building. The school building features 15 one-bedroom apartments and one two-bedroom apartment, while the adjacent new building features 24 one-bedroom apartments. Among the 40 units, eight are set aside for the frail elderly and five for homeless seniors who will receive supportive services from the Center for Family Services. The project also contains a community room, an exercise room, a computer room, a craft room, laundry facilities, and a management office. Each apartment has full kitchens, living and dining areas, full baths, generous bedrooms and ample closet space. Each unit has Energy Star-rated light fixtures and appliances with a frost-free refrigerator, and an electric oven and range hood. All units also have durable flooring materials, water saving plumbing fixtures, and energy efficient heating and cooling systems that keep the indoor environment warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
The apartment complex preserves a significant part of the Borough’s history while creating affordable senior housing rental units with great amenities. The historic site, located at 23 N. Warwick Street in the Borough of Lawnside, was once the site of the Lawnside Elementary School, parts of which were sold and then transitioned into professional office space. The existing school building which maintains significant historical components was also the place where the Borough was incorporated on April 20, 1926, making it the first independent, self–governing African-American community north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Located in the heart of Lawnside Borough abutting Borough Hall, Lawnside Meadows is surrounded by various shopping outlets, businesses, and several churches. Residents also have convenient access to public transportation with the New Jersey Transit Route 403 bus stops within walking distance from the site. Moreover, Route 403 provides access to the Walter Rand Transportation Center in Camden, a major transportation hub served by the PATCO High Speed Line, and the New Jersey Transit River Line that provides access to Trenton and Philadelphia, and connections throughout the Northeast corridor. The redevelopment of this site into affordable senior housing will contribute to a vibrant downtown.
"This senior housing project truly carries out the mission shared by all of its stakeholders, which is to provide permanent, affordable housing opportunities for senior citizens on low, fixed incomes," said HMFA Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta. "The HMFA is pleased to provide the capital financing that enabled the development of this project that will have a positive impact on the neighborhood and contribute to a vibrant downtown."
HMFA is the administrator of federal tax credit programs for New Jersey. Low Income Housing Tax 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.
Conifer Realty LLC, is a full service real estate company specializing in the development and management of high-quality, affordable housing communities throughout New Jersey, New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Since its inception, the company has developed and or acquired over 230 properties and over 17,300 apartment units.
For more information on HMFA programs, please call 1-800-NJHOUSE or (609) 278-7400, or log on to www.njhousing.gov