Christie Administration Opens Affordable Housing Project Assisted With Federal Sandy Recovery Funds

Orange, NJ – June 30, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) recently marked the ribbon cutting of the Oakwood Avenue Development, a seven-unit affordable housing building in Orange that was primarily financed with federal Sandy Recovery funds.

DCA awarded the Orange Housing Development Corporation $1.35 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery funds through the Neighborhood Enhancement Program. The program provides zero-interest loans to non-profit and for-profit developers to help finance the rehabilitation of abandoned, foreclosed and vacant housing and the redevelopment of underutilized lots in the nine counties the federal government determined were most impacted by Sandy (Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union).

“DCA is pleased to use Sandy recovery funds to assist communities such as Orange in meeting an affordable housing demand that was exacerbated by Sandy,” said DCA Acting Commissioner Charles Richman, whose department administers most of the State’s Sandy recovery programs. “As an added benefit, these funds are helping return abandoned and blighted properties to viability, which positively impacts surrounding neighborhoods and improves quality of life for local residents.”

The Oakwood Avenue Development project features a three-story modern design, low-rise multi-family apartment building totaling over 11,000 square feet. The new building includes one 1-bedroom apartment; three 2-bedroom apartments; and three 3-bedroom apartments. The rental units are affordable to families earning at or less than 80% of the Area Median Income, which for a family of four is $65,800. The architect designed the project to be energy efficient, featuring a solar panel roof and using energy saving devices throughout the building.

Other funding sources for Oakwood Avenue Development included $560,000 from the Essex County Neighborhood Stabilization Program and more than $100,000 in equity from the Orange Housing Development Corporation.

During the first three months of lease-up at Oakwood Avenue Development, priority for residency was given to Sandy-impacted individuals who registered for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance or who rented an apartment or owned a primary residence that was no longer habitable because of Sandy damage. Priority for Sandy-impacted individuals during the first three months of lease-up is given at all other NEP-funded projects as well.

Through the Neighborhood Enhancement Program, DCA has awarded 33 zero-interest loans totaling $25.6 million that will help finance 170 units of affordable housing, which will substantially increase the affordable rental stock in the nine most Sandy-impacted counties.

For more information on Sandy recovery programs administered by DCA, including the Neighborhood Enhancement Program, visit www.renewjerseystronger.org

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