Christie Administration Breaks Ground on Affordable Housing for Veterans in Newark

HELP Clinton Avenue Homes Project to Feature Social Service Programs and Energy Efficient Construction 


NEWARK, N.J. – NJ Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lori Grifa and New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) Executive Director Anthony Marchetta today joined Newark Mayor Cory Booker and representatives of the HELP Development Corporation and Make It Right Foundation to break ground on the Clinton Avenue Homes project, an affordable military veteran housing community located at 634-648 Clinton Avenue in Newark. The HMFA, an affiliate of the DCA, awarded federal tax credits to assist with the project’s development and construction.

"Affordable housing is essential in New Jersey. It is particularly critical for the military veterans in our community," said DCA Commissioner Lori Grifa. "Sadly, many veterans suffer from physical disabilities, mental illness, and drug and alcohol abuse, which can impede independent living and result in homelessness. The HELP Clinton Avenue Homes project is doing something about this cruel reality."

HELP Development Corporation's project, which is located in Newark's South Ward, will be a four-story building with 56 permanent affordable apartments, which will provide housing to a minimum of 14 disabled veterans, as well as up to seven veterans and their families. The project will consist of 14 one-bedroom, 20 two-bedroom, and 22 three-bedroom units, and rents will be affordable to residents earning no more than 50% of area median income. The building will feature on-site parking and a community service room to be used by residents and the public at large. The room will also be utilized for HELP's mentoring program (Mentoring USA) and other social service programs. The Make It Right Foundation (MIR) will be contributing its design and sustainability expertise to ensure that the highest level of green features is incorporated into the building's development and construction.

"I am so pleased that the Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency was able to partner with this remarkable group of organizations to make the Clinton Avenue Homes project possible," said HMFA Executive Director Anthony Marchetta.

The HMFA awarded $1.67 million in 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits to HELP Development Corporation. The credits will generate close to $11.7 million in equity for the Clinton Avenue Homes project.

HMFA is the administrator of federal tax credit programs for New Jersey. Low Income Housing Tax Credits are a dollar-for-dollar reduction in federal tax liability and act as a catalyst to attract private investment into the affordable housing market. The credits are sold to an investor by the developer, who then, though equity from the sale, is able to take out a smaller mortgage to help build the project and thereby able to charge more affordable rents. Currently, there are more than 32,000 housing units in the HMFA's portfolio that were developed with the help of Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

HELP Development Corp. is an affiliate of HELP USA, Inc., a national not-for-profit organization with a mission to empower the homeless and others in need to become and remain self-reliant. Founded by Andrew Cuomo in 1986, it has grown to become one of the largest builders and operators of service-enriched transitional and low-income permanent housing in the nation.

Make It Right Foundation, founded by actor Brad Pitt, is known for its commitment to architectural design and high levels of sustainability through its extensive housing construction in New Orleans in response to Hurricane Katrina.

For more information on HMFA programs, please call 1-800-NJHOUSE or (609) 278-7400, or log on to