Lt. Governor Oliver Celebrates Ribbon Cutting for New Affordable Housing Units in Newark
- Posted on: 02/23/2022
Lt. Governor Joins M&M Development to Celebrate New Homes for Families Who Are Homeless Survivors of Domestic Violence
TRENTON, N.J. – Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver today joined Lua Homes, LLC and affiliated company M&M Development Company, LLC. to celebrate the completion of two new homes in Newark for unhoused survivors of domestic violence. The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) awarded $700,000 in National Housing Trust Funds (NHTF) to acquire the property and for the new construction of the two-family building.
“These new homes are creating a fresh start and increased stability for families who have faced a great deal of difficulty and adversity in their lives,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “Having a safe, stable and affordable home is extremely critical for people who face domestic violence, and we are proud to partner with Lua, M&M Development, and RWJBH Safe House on this project aimed at helping them live a better quality of life.”
The new residences serve families who earn less than 30% of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) average median income and are unhoused due to domestic violence. DCA contributes Project-Based Section-8 Vouchers to NHTF units to provide rental assistance to extremely low-income families that will occupy the apartments. The Safe House continues to provide services to these families after they relocate to apartments and for as long as services are required.
"Domestic violence remains one of the most social and public health crises our society faces, and one of the leading causes of homelessness in the country,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “By dedicating a housing project specifically to survivors of domestic violence here in Newark, we can create stability and safety to both survivors and their children. It is safe and affordable housing that serves as cornerstones upon which survivors can build personal stability and achieve long-term goals.”
The new homes consist of two, three-bedroom apartments with nine-foot ceilings, an open floor plan, stainless steel appliances, and hardwood floors throughout. The first-floor apartment has 2.5 ceramic-tiled bathrooms, and the second-floor apartment has two ceramic-tiled bathrooms. Both apartments are fully furnished with essential furniture and linens.
The National Housing Trust Fund was established in 2008 after Congress passed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act. DCA receives, distributes, and administers NHTF dollars for the State. The program provides zero-interest loans to eligible housing developers to create affordable rental units through either new construction, rehabilitation, or redevelopment. Through the NHTF program, developers can receive up to $1,000,000 to build 2-4 rental apartments. The NHTF funding can be utilized for development and construction costs.
“We are so excited about the completion of our second Lua Homes project in Newark,” said Maria Yglesias, co-founder of M&M Development. “We are honored to be able to provide housing to the most in need among us, with the help of the DCA and our other committed partners.”
"The lack of affordable housing remains a persistent need for domestic violence survivors and their children across New Jersey. We applaud DCA, the Safe House (one of our member programs), and Lua Homes for this important initiative. We hope to see similar efforts in other areas of our State," said Pamela Jacobs, JD, Executive Director of the New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence.
"Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness. Many victims and survivors of domestic violence have difficulty finding and securing affordable, safe housing prolonging homelessness. We must continue to work together as a community to ensure survivors and victims have access to housing and resources to obtain, sustain, and maintain housing. Housing is key to ensuring survivors can live lives free of violence," said Cierra Hart, Director of Housing and Economic Justice at the New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence.
Lua Homes LLP, and affiliated company of M & M Development LLC., partnered with RWJ Barnabas Health Safe House, in the submission of three applications for NHTF funding. The first project, Lua Homes at 79 Broad Street, was completed in 2019. Lua Homes at Third Avenue was completed in 2021 and Lua Homes at West Kinney has received 2021 funding. Construction on West Kinney will be completed in 2022.
Lua Homes is currently providing homes to 14 families who are survivors of domestic Violence. The first 10 apartments were built in 2011 with funding from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency Special Needs Trust Fund and Essex County and City of Newark HOME Funding.
DCA’s Division of Housing and Community Resources’ mission is to strengthen and revitalize communities through the delivery of affordable housing, supportive services, and the provision of financial and technical assistance to communities, local government, and community-based organizations in New Jersey.
DCA offers a wide range of programs and services, including affordable housing production, fire safety, building safety, community planning and development, local government management and finance, and disaster recovery and mitigation.
For more information about DCA, visit https://nj.gov/dca/ or follow the Department on social media: