Project is Part of Redevelopment of Former Public Housing Complex Site
CAMDEN – A groundbreaking today, attended by New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) executive staff, kicked off construction of 75 affordable rental apartments for families as part of the next phase of the redevelopment of a former public housing site in the city’s Centerville neighborhood.
Branch Village Townhomes II is the third phase of the Branch Village comprehensive revitalization of the site of the former Clement T. Branch Village. The new project will include 11 new two and three-story buildings housing one- to three-bedroom apartments for residents earning up to 80 percent of area median income (AMI). Five apartments will be set aside for homeless individuals.
Clement T. Branch Village was the last traditional public housing development in the neighborhood’s Mt. Ephraim Avenue corridor, a main thoroughfare to the east of the development. Eight two-story brick buildings were demolished, and three new public roads will be introduced to better integrate the property with the rest of the neighborhood.
"This new development continues the revitalization of this site, bringing new life to the neighborhood and providing safe, affordable homes for families,” said NJHMFA Executive Director Charles A. Richman. "This area is one that is in need of redevelopment but one that is changing quickly. We are proud to be part of these efforts through the award of Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which have been a vital tool in the creation of affordable housing in New Jersey.”
NJHMFA awarded the $20.5 million development very competitive 9 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which are expected to generate $15.9 million in private equity.
The development partners are The Michaels Organization and the Housing Authority of the City of Camden (HACC). HACC worked to relocate all of the residents who can opt to return to the new townhomes once completed.
The first phase of the redevelopment, financed in part by NJHMFA, opened in December 2017 with 50 affordable one- to two-bedroom rental apartments in a mid-rise building. A groundbreaking for 72 affordable townhomes for families earning up to 60 percent AMI took place in November 2018 and will also include five apartments for homeless individuals. This phase is expected to be completed in December. Plans are underway for a final phase which will provide 58 affordable apartments for seniors.
Construction on the new townhomes is anticipated to be complete by December 2020. Rents are anticipated to range from $824 for a one-bedroom apartment to $994 for a two-bedroom apartment and $1,234 for a three-bedroom apartment. Each apartment will include a washer and dryer, and the existing community building will be expanded to include a full-service kitchen and dining area.
The Centerville neighborhood has a long history in Camden. Close to the river and transportation, it was an area of early growth and development. The groundbreaking marks the continued revitalization of the neighborhood and the larger city of Camden.
Better Tomorrows, a New Jersey nonprofit 501(c) organization, will coordinate supportive services for the residents of the five set-aside apartments. Their social services will be centered around four key areas of assistance to help the residents with education, financial stability, health and wellness, and strong communities.
The Michaels Organization has partnered with NJHMFA on numerous projects in Camden. In the last five years alone, the Michaels Organization has completed or plans to complete six developments financed in part by NJHMFA, which have provided or will provide nearly 600 affordable housing opportunities. Most recently, NJHMFA joined Michaels in April for the groundbreaking of Cooper Plaza Townhomes, a major renovation of 64 townhomes that will preserve historic properties and affordable homes for families living in the city.
The Michaels Organization, based in Camden, has created high-quality, environmentally conscious and financially successful communities that offer affordable housing opportunities to more than 100,000 residents.
For more information on NJHMFA and its programs, visit njhousing.gov.