OCEAN TOWNSHIP, NJ – 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 joined local officials and representatives of The Ingerman Group to celebrate the groundbreaking of Willows at Waretown, a 76-unit affordable rental community for seniors 55 and older in Ocean Township, Ocean County, one of the nine counties most impacted by Superstorm Sandy as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The project has been awarded federal Sandy Recovery funds.
The HMFA, an affiliate of DCA, awarded the project approximately $6.7 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery funding through the Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing (FRM). In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the FRM program was created to provide for-profit and non-profit housing developers an opportunity to secure zero- and low-interest loans to finance the development of affordable housing in the nine counties that HUD designated as most impacted by the storm. In addition, the project was able to leverage 4% federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, an existing federal affordable housing program that the HMFA administers for the state. These tax credits are anticipated to generate approximately $838,160 in private equity for the project. The HMFA also provided the project approximately $2.4 million in construction and permanent financing, and a construction bridge loan of $6.8 million.
"Willows at Waretown will provide quality affordable housing opportunities for low- to moderate-income senior citizens, and Sandy-impacted seniors in Ocean County,” said Commissioner Constable, who also serves as Chairman of the HMFA. “We are pleased to use Sandy recovery funds to support such a worthwhile project that will help replenish the supply of affordable housing units that were damaged or destroyed by Sandy.”
As a result of Superstorm Sandy, 10 percent of the households in Ocean County had homes that sustained major or severe damage from the storm. The county’s year-round residents also include lower-income individuals and retirees on fixed incomes who continue to have challenges in the recovery. In Ocean Township specifically, about 10 percent of homes in the town’s hard-hit neighborhoods sustained major or severe damage.
During the first three months of lease-up of Willows at Waretown, priority will be given to Sandy-impacted individuals who registered for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance or who rented an apartment or owned a primary residence that was no longer habitable because of Sandy damage.
To date, the HMFA has closed on $57.5 million in financing through the FRM program and $107 million in construction and permanent financing for 13 affordable housing projects in the nine counties most impacted by Sandy. It is anticipated that the Low Income Housing Tax Credits awarded to these projects will generate approximately $122 million in private equity for the project. Once completed, these 13 projects will provide 840 units of affordable housing.
The project involves the new construction of a three-story residence, which will consist of 70 one-bedroom apartments, and six two-bedroom apartments. Ingerman Management Company will be managing the project, and will provide an on-site coordinator who will provide supportive services for building residents, as well as organize and monitor programs offered to the entire community.
Willows at Waretown’s location along a major corridor in Ocean Township puts future residents in close proximity to many amenities, including the Jersey shore. Numerous grocery stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores are located close to the project, which will be easily accessible via US Route 9 and the Garden State Parkway.
“This project will certainly serve as a social and economic asset to Ocean County with its close proximity to retail, public transit, major state highways, and open space,” said HMFA Executive Director Marchetta. “We are thrilled to provide Sandy Recovery funds and the capital financing that will enable the development of this affordable housing project, which will provide senior citizens, including those affected by the storm, with accessible, high quality housing that contributes to the local and state economy.”
The project, which will cost approximately $17.7 million to develop, will not only provide affordable housing opportunities for senior citizens in New Jersey, but will also have a positive economic impact on the greater Ocean County community. HMFA estimates that the project will generate approximately $28 million in one-time economic output and approximately 168 full-time jobs during construction. Upon completion, the project will continue to add value to the community by providing approximately $3.1 million in ongoing economic output and 18 full-time jobs annually. Funding for the development of the Willows at Waretown also include Ocean Township Affordable Housing Trust Funds.
For more information on HMFA programs, including the Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing, visit www.njhousing.gov.