Project in Toms River Provides 102 Affordable Units for Seniors, Including Individuals of Extremely Low Income
Toms River, NJ – New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) executive staff today joined local officials and representatives of the Walters Group to celebrate the grand opening of Cornerstone at Toms River, a 102-unit affordable residence for seniors, financed with the help of Superstorm Sandy recovery funds.
HMFA is providing significant funding for the project including $18.5 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery funds through the Agency’s Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing (FRM). The program was created in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy to provide for-profit and non-profit housing developers an opportunity to secure zero-interest and low-interest loans to finance the development of affordable housing in the nine counties most impacted by the storm.
The developer also received $14.6 million in construction funding from HMFA’s Conduit Bond Program, as well as 4 percent federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which are expected to generate $8 million in private equity to help build the project. Citi Community Capital and Wells Fargo Community Lending and Investment served as the Walters Group’s capital partners.
To date, HMFA has funded approximately 5,150 housing units for households of low-to-moderate-income through the FRM program. HMFA received federal approval in June 2017 to provide a fourth round of FRM funding, which is anticipated to create an additional 255 to 350 affordable housing units in counties hit hard by Sandy.
“Cornerstone at Toms River is a substantial investment in the community and is helping to address a demand for affordable housing that was exacerbated by Superstorm Sandy,” said New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Charles A. Richman, whose department administers many of New Jersey’s Sandy recovery initiatives and who also serves as chairman of the HMFA board. “This project also furthers the Administration’s overall mission of creating high-quality housing that people can afford in areas that are close to public mass transit, job centers and good schools.”
The project features one- and two-bedroom units with full kitchens, washers, and dryers for seniors (age 55+) with incomes up to 60 percent of the area median income. Six of the apartments are set aside for residents with developmental disabilities. Amenities for residents include community, game and fitness rooms, a bocce court, a barbecue and picnic area, and onsite management. Cornerstone at Toms River will participate in HMFA's Services for Independent Living (SIL) program, which is geared toward helping seniors age in place in an independent living environment.
Cornerstone at Toms River is the 10th project developed by the Walters Group, of Barnegat, NJ, to receive Sandy recovery funds.
“HMFA is pleased to have been a part of this senior housing development that will not only provide safe, decent apartments for residents in Ocean County, but will also help replenish the stock of affordable rental housing lost to Sandy,” said HMFA Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta. “We look forward to continuing to use our FRM Program to help those communities hard hit by Sandy rebuild.”
During the first 90 days of lease up at Cornerstone at Toms River and any FRM-funded development, priority for residency is given to individuals who were displaced by or experienced major or severe storm damage from Superstorm Sandy. Sandy-affected residents can learn more about affordable housing projects funded with Sandy recovery dollars by visiting the New Jersey Housing Resource Center at www.njhrc.gov and clicking on “Priority Housing for Sandy-Impacted Residents,” which will take visitors to a site listing flyers on available housing by county.
The Arc, Ocean County Chapter Inc. (the “Arc”), which provides social services for special needs individuals, including people with developmental disabilities, will provide support services for residents and will offer a multitude of programs, including Life Skills workshops, money management, job readiness programs and assistance with daily living activities. The Walters Group also has agreed to accept HUD Section 811 Project Rental Assistance. Through the Section 811 program, HMFA receives federal subsidies to provide rental assistance for extremely low-income persons with disabilities and extremely low-income households with at least one person with a disability. The initial term of assistance is five years and with yearly subsequent renewals. An onsite social service coordinator will also provide support services for all Cornerstone residents.
The development is located on Massachusetts Avenue and close to the Garden State Parkway, shopping and recreational areas such as Blue Claws Stadium, Island Beach State Park and other local parks and beaches.
HMFA estimates that the Cornerstone at Toms River project during construction generated approximately $44.6 million in one-time economic output, defined as the total value of industry production, such as sales and business revenues. The project supported approximately 267 direct and indirect/induced full-time equivalent jobs, and generated over $1.6 million in state and local taxes during construction. Now complete, Cornerstone at Toms River is expected to continue to add value to the community by providing nearly $5 million in ongoing economic output, about 29 direct and indirect/induced full-time equivalent jobs, and approximately $281,000 in state and local taxes annually.
For more information on the FRM Program and other HMFA programs, please visit www.njhousing.gov.