FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, September 15, 2016


Newark-Based ACON, Inc. Completes Rehabilitation on High Street Heights and Alpha Drive Supportive Housing for 12 Homeless Individuals and Families

NEWARK – New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) executive staff today joined local officials and community leaders to celebrate the official grand opening of High Street Heights and Alpha Drive, two properties that were rehabilitated and turned into supportive housing communities for formerly chronically homeless families and individuals. ACON, Inc. partnered with the YMCA of Newark & Vicinity to develop the properties.

Both properties feature apartments with a living room, dining area, full bathroom, HVAC, and kitchen with refrigerator, stove and oven. The properties also include community spaces and on-site parking. Also, the Newark YMCA will have a social worker on site at both locations to provide services to tenants and monitor their progress in attaining goals. 

Providing supportive housing for the state’s low- and moderate-income special needs populations is part of HMFA’s ongoing commitment to increasing the availability of and accessibility to quality, permanent and affordable housing for individuals and families across New Jersey. For the High Street Heights and Alpha Drive supportive housing projects, HMFA awarded a total of $1.74 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery funds through the Sandy Special Needs Housing Fund, which was created in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy to provide subsidies in the form of zero- and low-interest loans to developers of affordable supportive housing in the nine counties the federal government designated as the most impacted by the storm. 

“HMFA is so pleased to contribute to the financing of these worthwhile projects that are providing affordable permanent housing for people who previously had no place to call home,” said HMFA Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta. “People with special needs, such as chronic homelessness, were particularly hard hit by Superstorm Sandy which is why we are utilizing CDBG Disaster Recovery funding to create supportive housing in counties that were affected by the storm.”

Both High Street Heights and Alpha Drive are located in the mixed-income, mixed-use, diverse Springfield Belmont neighborhood in the Central Ward of Newark. Both are within walking distance of Penn Station, other public transportation, the downtown shopping area, Lincoln Park, UMDNJ Wellness Center and over 10 primary and secondary schools. Essex County College, the Newark campus of Rutgers University, the New Jersey University of Medicine and Dentistry and the New Jersey Institute of Technology are also nearby. 

A formerly vacant, nearly 100-year-old building, High Street Heights was rehabilitated to create three one-bedroom and three two-bedroom apartments. Each apartment now features a living room; adjoining dining area; kitchen with refrigerator, four-burner range and oven, stainless steel sink and exhaust fan; one full bathroom; and a stacked washer/dryer. Each is also equipped with a gas-fired heat and air-conditioning system. Community amenities on the property include a private backyard, which includes a playground for residents’ children. Nine parking spaces are provided. Residents will receive Shelter Plus Care vouchers from Collaborative Support Programs NJ (CSP). 

Alpha Drive was rehabilitated to create six one-bedroom apartments. The apartments have a living room; adjoining dining area; kitchen with refrigerator, four-burner range and oven, stainless steel sink and exhaust fan; and one full bathroom. Each unit is equipped with a gas-fired heat and air-conditioning system. The Alpha Drive property also includes a recreational and common space in the finished basement and a common private backyard with a playground for residents’ children. Nine parking spaces are available for residents. Residents will pay 30 percent of their income as rent; also residents in four of the apartments will receive rental assistance in the form of Shelter Plus Care vouchers from CSP. 

The on-site social worker from the Newark YMCA will assist each tenant in developing a comprehensive service plan to work toward the attainment of goals. The social worker will provide case management services to tenants and will also follow up with them on a weekly basis to monitor progress, give support and make necessary referrals. All tenants will receive complete medical assessments within 30 days of their arrival and the social worker will assist them in obtaining any necessary medical care. The Newark YMCA also has an in-house substance abuse and mental health program that is available to tenants in need of these services. The program is made possible through the Newark YMCA’s collaboration with the Neighborhood Educational Training Center and Integrity House, a long-standing provider of substance abuse treatment in the City of Newark. 

Resident applications and referrals for both High Street Heights and Alpha Drive will come from the Newark YMCA’s Emergency Shelter Program and other local providers of emergency shelter in the City of Newark and surrounding municipalities. ACON, Inc. will serve as the property manager for the project. 

HMFA estimates that during construction High Street Heights and Alpha Drive generated approximately $4.5 million in one-time economic output, defined as the total value of industry production, such as sales and business revenues; supported approximately 28 direct and indirect/induced full-time equivalent jobs; and generated approximately $165,300 in state and local taxes. Now complete, the projects will continue to add value to the community by supporting two full-time jobs and generating approximately $504,450 in ongoing economic output and more than $28,500 in state and local taxes annually. 

The economic impact analysis figures were estimated using multipliers derived from a 2013 study entitled “Economic and Fiscal Impacts of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency’s Investment in Affordable Housing,” conducted by HR&A Advisors, Inc., a real estate and economic development consulting firm. 

For more information on the Sandy Special Needs Housing Fund and other HMFA programs, please call 1-800-NJHOUSE or (609) 278-7400, or visit


Tammori Petty,
or Emike Omogbai
(609) 292-6055