BURLINGTON, N.J. – The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta joined local officials, Moorestown Ecumenical Neighborhood Development (MEND), Inc., and Conifer Realty, LLC, to celebrate the grand opening of the Springside School Apartments, a 75-unit senior rental community in Burlington Township, Burlington County. The HMFA, an affiliate of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), awarded the unique rehabilitation-redevelopment project federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) that generated approximately $13.9 million in private equity.
"The Springside School Apartments not only provide quality affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income seniors age 55 and older in Burlington County, but also create permanent supportive housing for individuals with special needs,” said DCA Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III, who also serves as Chairman of the HMFA. “Projects like this help meet the high demands for affordable rentals in New Jersey while serving those with special needs."
The development involves the adaptive re-use of a historic school building, originally built in 1916, into 32 affordable housing units, and the new construction of an attached two-story structure that contains 43 units. Building amenities include a large community room in what was the former school auditorium, laundry room, lounge, computer room, fitness room, and library. Each apartment has a full kitchen, living and dining areas, full bath, generous bedrooms, ample closet space, energy efficient heating and cooling systems that meet the Energy Star Homes Program requirements, and Energy Star appliances with a dishwasher, frost-free refrigerator, electric oven, and range hood with plenty of cabinet space.
The age-restricted apartment units are affordable to individuals at or below 47.5% and 57.5% of the Area Median Income (AMI), and 16 of the units are set aside for a non-age-restricted special needs population at or below 20% AMI. The social services for the special needs residents will be provided by The Lester A. Drenk Behavioral Health Center.
The project, which cost approximately $17 million to develop, will not only provide affordable housing opportunities for New Jersey seniors, but also have a positive economic impact on the greater Burlington County community. HMFA estimates that the project has generated approximately $27 million in one-time economic output and approximately 162 full-time jobs during construction. Now completed, the project will continue to add value to the community by providing more than $3 million in ongoing economic output and 17 full time jobs annually.
Other funding sources for the development of the Springside School Apartments included the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) HOME funds, Burlington Township’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, approximately $1.6 million in equity generated from the sale of federal Historic Tax Credits, and a $346,000 permanent first mortgage from HMFA.
“This apartment complex is both a social and economic asset to Burlington County, providing permanent housing to seniors while contributing to the local and state economy,” said HMFA Executive Director Marchetta. “We are thrilled to have provided the capital financing that enabled the development of this project and present a better living experience for our deserving New Jersey residents.”
Annually, states are allocated low-income housing tax credits by the federal government on a per-capita basis. HMFA, as the administrator of the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program in New Jersey, allocates approximately $20 million in 9% credits annually, which generates over $180 million in equity for the development of affordable housing in the state. Springside School Apartments was awarded the extremely competitive 9% LIHTCs from the 2012 senior cycle that provided close to 80% of the funding.
The project is a joint venture between Conifer Realty, LLC, a real estate developer, general contractor and property manager based in Rochester, NY, and MEND, Inc, a 45-year-old non-profit affordable housing developer located in Moorestown, NJ.
For more information on HMFA programs, please call 1-800-NJHOUSE or (609) 278-7400, or visit www.njhousing.gov