Complex Built with Help of Sandy Recovery Funding from NJHMFA
STAFFORD – A ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the opening of Cornerstone at Stafford, a community of 100 affordable apartments for seniors age 55 and older built in part with Sandy recovery funding from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA).
The new three-story building celebrated at last week’s event includes one- and two-bedroom apartments for seniors earning up to 60 percent of the area median income, with five providing homes for residents with mental health needs.
The $25.8 million project, developed by the Walters Group and located on Campbell Boulevard, is part of a 350-acre mixed-use brownfield redevelopment in the township’s Manahawkin section, which is bringing new economic and housing opportunities to the underutilized site. A separate nearby complex includes 112 affordable apartments for families and was also developed by the Walters Group and financed in part by NJHMFA as part of the redevelopment.
“We know that many seniors in our communities are living on restricted incomes and it’s absolutely critical that they have access to housing that is affordable so they can stay in New Jersey,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who also serves as DCA Commissioner and chair of the NJHMFA board. “These new apartments will help serve the needs of seniors and those displaced by Superstorm Sandy, while at the same time redeveloping an abandoned property. We commend the public and private organizations that came together to make this a success.”
Residents have already begun moving in to the new complex. Rents for one-bedroom apartments range from $507 to $994 for residents with incomes ranging from $19,097 to $49,140 depending on household size. Two-bedroom rents range from $608 to $1,250 for incomes ranging from $22,971 to $61,380.
“Cornerstone at Stafford provides seniors on tight incomes with stable, affordable homes and enables them to remain in the community, close to friends and family,” said NJHMFA Executive Director Charles A. Richman. “In an area hard hit by Superstorm Sandy, which further exacerbated the need for affordable housing, we are pleased to put Sandy recovery dollars to work providing homes for senior residents in the community.”
NJHMFA provided $13 million in construction and permanent financing as well as $15.8 million in federal Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery assistance through the Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing (FRM). The FRM program, created following Superstorm Sandy, provides for-profit and nonprofit 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. Since 2012, 18 projects with nearly 1,200 affordable apartments have been created in Ocean County.
NJHMFA also awarded The Walters Group 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which generated $7.9 million in private equity.
Sandy recovery funding
To date, 76 projects have included FRM funding to create nearly 6,050 rental housing opportunities, 90 percent of which are affordable to low- and moderate-income households.
During the first 90 days of lease up in any project that has received FRM funding, priority for residency will be given to individuals who were displaced by or experienced major storm damage from Sandy. Storm-impacted 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 you to a website listing flyers on available housing by county.
Ocean Mental Health Services will provide services for the residents with special needs. Cornerstone at Stafford is near Long Beach Island, shopping, public transportation, dining and other amenities, as well as major thoroughfares such as near Route 72 and the Garden State Parkway.
Rental information is available at 609-597-0300 or www.wgapts.com.
This is the fifth Cornerstone development by the Walters Group that NJHMFA has helped finance. Other affordable developments include Cornerstone at Toms River, Cornerstone at Lacey and Lacey II, and Cornerstone at Barnegat.
The Walters Group, located in Barnegat, develops and manages affordable and market-rate apartment communities.
For more information on NJHMFA and its programs, visit njhousing.gov.