Christie Administration Breaks Ground of Freedom Village at Westampton
WESTAMPTON, N.J. – The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) joined state and local officials, and representatives of Project Freedom, Inc. (PFI), to celebrate the groundbreaking of Freedom Village, a 48-unit affordable housing community for low- to moderate-income families and individuals with special needs in Westampton Township, Burlington County.
The HMFA, an affiliate of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), awarded the project federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) that generated approximately $11.7 million in private equity.
"We are pleased to celebrate the groundbreaking of this worthwhile housing project that will create affordable and high-quality housing for the townships working families and individuals with special needs," said DCA Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III, who also serves as Chairman of the HMFA. "I commend the development team for utilizing the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program to get the financing they need to embark on this project, which is sure to be a community asset in Burlington County."
The project, which will cost a total of approximately $13.8 million to develop, will not only provide affordable housing opportunities for New Jersey families, but will also have a positive economic impact on the Burlington County community. HMFA estimates that the project will generate approximately $21.9 million in one-time economic output and create approximately 131 direct and indirect/induced full-time jobs, and $801,000 in state and local taxes during construction. Upon completion, the project will continue to add value to the community by providing more than $2.4 million in ongoing economic output and approximately 14 direct and indirect/induced full-time jobs, and approximately $138,000 in state and local taxes annually. Additional funding sources for Freedom Village at Westampton include Roma Bank, Burlington County HOME Funds, Westampton Predevelopment Grant, and a deferred developer fee.
The development will involve the new construction of 48 one-, two-, and three-bedroom units in six L-shaped two-story buildings, each with an elevator, on a 10-acre site. All units will be wheelchair accessible with wide doors and hallways. The units will also contain energy efficient appliances, central heating and air conditioning, accessible kitchens and baths, and wall-to-wall carpeting. The project developer PFI will provide and coordinate the supportive services to the Special Needs tenants, which will be provided by the Division of Developmental Disabilities and Catholic Charities.
"Freedom Village at Westampton will present a better living experience for our deserving New Jersey residents, while contributing to the local and state economy," said HMFA Executive Director Marchetta. "We are thrilled that the equity from the housing tax credits we awarded the project will cover over 84% of its total development cost."
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. The project developer PFI was awarded the extremely competitive 9% tax credits from the 2013 non-Sandy round, Supportive Housing Cycle.
PFI is a non-profit organization that develops and operates barrier-free permanent supportive housing that enables individuals with disabilities to live independently. In addition, they provide supportive services such as recreation, training, and advocacy.
For more information on HMFA programs, please visit www.njhousing.gov.
High Res Photo
(From Left to Right) Norman Smith, Project Freedom, Inc. Founder and Associate Executive Director Project Freedom, Inc.; John Murray, HMFA; Maria Maio-Messano, Field Office Director, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; Harry McVey, Westampton Township Planner; Bruce Garganio, Director, Burlington County Freeholder; Andre Daniels, Westampton Township Committee Member; Carolyn V. Chang, Mayor, Westampton; Tim Doherty, Executive Director, Project Freedom, Inc.; (Hidden from view) C. Herbert Schneider, Chairman, Project Freedom Board of Trustees; Benjamin Kruger, Vice-President Commercial Real Estate, TD Bank