Administration’s Housing Commitment for Special Needs Populations, Seniors, Low-Income Families Exceeds 35,000 Units
TRENTON, NJ - Enhancing a commitment to job-creating housing opportunities for special needs populations, senior citizens and low-income families, Governor Chris Christie and Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Charles Richman announced the new construction and rehabilitation of over 4,450 rental units across New Jersey that will generate more than $1 billion in development investments and create 9,500 construction-related jobs.
Today, the leaders visited the Jacob’s Landing redevelopment in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, to highlight the second phase Woodbridge Garden Apartments, a 150-unit public housing complex to help preserve and rehabilitate federally subsidized units. Phase two includes the new construction of 60 units in five buildings, 46 of which will cost tenants only 30 percent of their incomes and five of which are set aside for homeless individuals or families. All units will be affordable to those earning under 60 percent of area median income (AMI).
“My administration remains committed to creating high-quality affordable housing opportunities in New Jersey in all areas where it makes sense for everyone, and that is essential to our comprehensive effort to attract and retain generations of families and employers,” said Governor Christie. “We continue to find creative ways to leverage federal, state, local and private resources to accomplish this from Atlantic County to Bergen County, and everywhere in between, for tens of thousands of people.”
By the end of this year, the Christie administration will have created nearly 36,000 housing opportunities throughout the state, including approximately 26,000 units of multifamily rental housing, 2,000 housing units for special needs populations and roughly 8,000 for-sale homeownership opportunities through HMFA’s single family mortgage products and single family construction loan programs.
“The State is proud to have helped steer these projects to completion through our financing and various partnerships,” said Commissioner Richman. “Today the state takes an additional step to address affordable housing. The developments funded by these programs will enhance the quality of life for New Jerseyans while supporting job growth and aiding low-income families in their time of need.”
Included in today’s announcement is the award of nearly $40 million in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) through the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA). These competitive awards, which represent the single largest announcement of awards in New Jersey since the inception of the program, will fund 2,175 units within 29 projects in 14 counties across the state.
“The steps that the NJHMFA has taken to broaden the impact of using tax credits as a development tool to create affordable housing across the state have opened the door to thousands of residents, not only improving their lives, but the greater community as well,” said the agency's Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta.
Additionally, $250 million in volume cap (tax exempt bonds) is being awarded to finance construction costs of 2,275 units. This mortgage financing will be leveraged with the final tranche of $60 million in Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing (FRM) under Superstorm Sandy Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) to construct 304 units in the nine most impacted counties.
Previously this year, the Administration announced $150 million in volume cap awards to construct or rehabilitate over 1,860 units. These 11 projects have total development costs which exceed $425 million.
In total, over 6,300 rental housing units have been awarded by this Administration in 2017 alone. Over 5,600 units will be affordable to individuals and families earning under 60 percent of area median income (AMI); 3,800 will be affordable for families, 1,400 will be affordable for seniors at least 55 years old, and 400 will be affordable to individuals and families with special needs. An additional 700 rental housing units will be market rate housing.
The Federal LIHTC Program
The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, which was established in 1986, is the single largest source of funding for affordable housing in the United States and one of the most successful housing production programs ever created. This innovative program awards federal tax credits to affordable housing developers, which are typically sold to private investors to generate equity for construction funding. In return, the investors receive 10 years of tax credits and other benefits against their federal tax liability.
The 9 percent LIHTC program, which is allocated to each state based on population, can provide funding of approximately 70 percent of a project’s development costs and as such, is extremely competitive and greatly oversubscribed. A record 60 applications were received in May 2017 with requests totaling over $81 million in annual LIHTC.
Through the Administration’s 2013 changes to LIHTC allocation process known as the Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP), the state now incentivizes construction of low and moderate income housing in areas of low poverty, proximity to job centers, public mass transit and availability of high performing school districts. It also strongly emphasizes the inclusion of units for individuals with special needs with very low incomes. These substantive changes have been recognized by both HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research and smart growth advocates, such as NJ Future, as vital to expanding affordable housing into areas of higher opportunity.
Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR)
The Fund for the Restoration of Multifamily Housing (FRM) was created in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy to finance the development of affordable housing in the nine counties most impacted by Sandy. To date, over $650 million in FRM has been awarded to 76 projects representing over 6,000 rental units.
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