Christie Administration Marks Groundbreaking of Affordable Housing Project Assisted with Federal Sandy Recovery Funds
TOMS RIVER, N.J. – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III and New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta today joined state and local officials, and representatives of the National Equity Fund, Bank of America, Federal Home Loan Bank, Parents United for Special Needs Housing, and Project Freedom, Inc., to celebrate the groundbreaking of Freedom Village at Toms River, a 72-unit affordable rental community for working families in Toms River, 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.
HMFA awarded the project approximately $5 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery monies through the Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing (FRM) and the Sandy Special Needs Housing Fund. The FRM program provides for-profit and non-profit housing developers an opportunity to secure zero-interest and low-interest loans to finance the development of affordable housing. The Sandy Special Needs Housing Fund provides similar financial assistance to developers who are constructing permanent supportive rental housing units for people with special needs. HMFA also provided approximately $3.6 million in construction and permanent financing, and awarded the project the extremely competitive 9% federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which will generate approximately $11.8 million in private equity.
“Superstorm Sandy drastically reduced the availability of affordable housing in New Jersey and created significant challenges for many families, especially those displaced by the storm,” said Commissioner Constable. “Sandy recovery programs like the FRM program and Sandy Special Needs Housing Fund are instrumental because they create affordable housing opportunities for families, including those affected by the storm, and they help to stabilize Sandy-impacted communities by mobilizing capital investment for major projects.”
During the first three months of lease-up of Freedom Village at Toms River, 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.
The project involves the new construction of 72 family rental units in six “L” shaped, two-story buildings with one elevator in each and includes one-, two-, and three-bedroom rental apartment units. All of the units will be wheelchair accessible and available to those earning less than 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Project developer Project Freedom, Inc. will provide a social service coordinator to facilitate supportive services to individuals with special needs and families.
“Freedom Village at Toms River will long serve Ocean County as a social and economic asset,” said HMFA Executive Director Marchetta. “We are thrilled to provide the capital financing that will enable the development of this project, which will provide families and individuals, including those with special needs, accessibility to high-quality housing that is affordable.”
The project, which will cost approximately $21.4 million to develop, will not only have a positive social impact, but also a positive economic impact on greater Ocean County. HMFA estimates that the project will generate approximately $34 million in one-time economic output and approximately 204 full-time jobs during construction. Upon completion, the project will continue to add value to the community by providing approximately $3.8 million in ongoing economic output and 22 full time jobs annually. Funding sources for the development of Freedom Village at Toms River also include the Federal Home Loan Bank, Toms River Affordable Housing Trust Funds, and a deferred developer fee.
Annually, states are allocated Low Income Housing Tax Credits by the federal government on a per-capita basis. HMFA, as the administrator of the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program in New Jersey, allocates approximately $20 million in 9% credits annually, which generates over $190 million in equity for the development of affordable housing in the state.
Project Freedom, Inc. is a non-profit organization that develops and operates barrier-free permanent supportive housing that enables individuals with disabilities to live independently.
For more information on HMFA programs, including the Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing and the Sandy Special Needs Housing Fund, visit www.njhousing.gov.