Christie Administration Marks Groundbreaking of Affordable Housing Project Assisted with Federal Sandy Recovery Funds
ORANGE, N.J. – Senior staff from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) today joined local officials and representatives of the Orange Housing Development Corporation and The Alpert Group, LLC, to celebrate the groundbreaking of Walter G. Alexander III, a 42-unit affordable housing development.
The HMFA, an affiliate of the DCA, provided Walter G. Alexander III with Agency financing, and awarded $3.2 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery funds through the Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing (FRM) program, which provides zero-interest and low-interest loans to housing developers to finance affordable housing development in the nine counties the federal government determined were most impacted by Superstorm Sandy. The HMFA also approved the $11.9 million project for the competitive 9% federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) of up to $7.7 million over ten years, generating approximately 63 percent of the total development cost.
“Sandy recovery initiatives like the FRM program are helping to rebuild and restore a lasting foundation for New Jersey after the storm,” said David Reiner, Deputy Commissioner of the DCA, which administers many of New Jersey’s Sandy recovery initiatives. “The Walter G. Alexander project and others funded by the FRM Program not only provide affordable housing opportunities for Sandy-impacted families, but also benefit the community by creating jobs, generating local and state taxes, and spurring economic growth in the local economy.”
During the first 90 days of lease-up of Walter G. Alexander III upon construction completion, priority for residency 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. Individuals who are interested in applying for a housing unit may contact the Orange City Housing Authority leasing office at (973) 677-4555 for further details.
Walter G. Alexander III is the third phase of a redevelopment effort that is converting an obsolete high-rise public housing project into a vibrant transit-oriented affordable family and senior housing community. Upon completion of the third phase, the entire development will consist of 156 total housing units in five three- to four-story townhouse style buildings, and a 4,100 square foot community center. The first two phases of the development are comprised of 66 family housing units, and 48 senior housing units, respectively. Phase III will provide 42 one-, two-, and three-bedroom affordable rental units, with five of the units set aside for individuals with special needs. Support services will be provided to the special needs residents by Interfaith Hospitality Network Services (IHN) of Essex County.
Walter G. Alexander is located in the Transit Village District-East region of the City of Central Orange Redevelopment Plan, and includes pedestrian friendly sidewalks that connect to nearby transportation hubs and safety features that help ensure neighborhood security.
“This redevelopment effort, whose first and second phases won the Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Award last year at the Governor’s Conference on Housing and Economic Development, transforms a formerly blighted site of Orange, and delivers significant new investment and social benefits to the city,” said HMFA Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta. "Additionally, the Low Income Housing Tax Credits program, which helped finance this project, is the nation’s most successful mechanism for the production of affordable housing that creates jobs and ratables for our cities and municipalities.”
HMFA estimates that Walter G. Alexander III, which will cost approximately $11.9 million to develop, will generate approximately $18.9 million in one-time economic output and create approximately 113 direct and indirect/induced full-time jobs during construction. Once completed, the project will continue to add value to the community by providing more than $2.1 million in ongoing economic output, and 11 direct and indirect/induced full-time jobs annually. The Walter G. Alexander redevelopment is part of a Payment In-Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) Program that provides the City of Orange Township with approximately $30,000 in revenues over the next 30 years. Other funding sources for Walter G. Alexander III include the Housing Authority of the City of Orange Township, and Enterprise Community Investment.
The project is being developed by Orange Housing Development Corporation, in partnership with The Alpert Group, a Fort Lee-based real estate development and management company with extensive experience in multifamily projects. The development team also includes Kitchen & Associates architects, The Metro Company, LLC, as financial and planning consultant, and Del Sano Contracting Corp. as the general contractor.
To date, the HMFA has approved FRM funding for 54 affordable housing developments in the nine most impacted counties of which 30 developments are in the hardest hit counties of Atlantic, Monmouth and Ocean.
Sandy-impacted residents can learn more about these affordable housing projects by visiting the New Jersey Housing Resource Center at www.njhrc.gov. The database is free and easy to use. On the homepage, individuals can click on Priority Housing for Sandy-Impacted Residents. The page that opens will display a list of available housing opportunities throughout the nine most impacted counties. The list includes such information as where projects are located, total number of housing units, contact information for the leasing office, website/phone number for people to submit applications, and date applications are being accepted. New information is regularly being added as it become available.
For more information on HMFA programs, including the Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing, please call 1-800-NJHOUSE or (609) 278-7400, or visit www.njhousing.gov.
High Res Photo
(Left to right) Lebby Jones, Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders; Willis Edwards, City of Orange, Business Administrator; Heather Lawler, Stuart Portney, The Metro Company, President; Dr. Walter D. McNeil, Executive Director of the Orange Housing Authority; Faith Moore, Walter G. Alexander, Manager; Sonia Burgos, Director of Public Housing, HUD; Anthony L. Marchetta, Executive Director, New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency; Britnee Timberlake, Essex County Board of Chose Freeholders, President; Joe Alpert, CEO of The Alpert Group; Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver.