JERSEY CITY, N.J. –New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta today joined federal, county and local officials, community leaders, and representatives of the Michaels Development Company and the Jersey City Housing Authority (JCHA) to celebrate the groundbreaking of Catherine Todd Apartments. The development is the first phase of a larger revitalization effort that involves the substantial rehabilitation of an existing vacant ten story building into a 68-unit apartment complex for seniors age 62 and up, and individuals with special needs in Jersey City, Hudson County. The project has been awarded federal Sandy Recovery funds.
The HMFA, an affiliate of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, awarded the project approximately $5.7 million in federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds through the Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing (FRM). In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the FRM program was created to provide for-profit and non-profit housing developers an opportunity to secure zero- and low-interest loans to finance the development of affordable housing in the nine counties that HUD designated as the most impacted by the storm.
The HMFA also provided the project approximately $9.4 million in funding through its Multifamily Conduit Bond Program, with CitiBank as the Conduit lender of the HMFA bonds. Additionally, the agency awarded the project the competitive 9% federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) that will generate approximately $11.8 million in private equity. Other funding sources included a bridge loan from the Bank of America, a deferred developer fee, the JCHA, and a Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Planning grant through the JCHA.
"Catherine Todd Apartments will help revitalize not only the former public housing site Montgomery Gardens, but also the community at large,” said DCA Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III, who also serves as Chairman of the HMFA. “Sandy recovery programs help capture unmet housing needs of special needs populations who are oftentimes more vulnerable to natural disasters due to damaged or displaced support networks, accessibility issues or increased cost of living.”
Building amenities will include an on-site laundry facility on every floor, a large multi-purpose room with a warming kitchen, a computer learning center, a living room that will serve as a quiet reading and visiting room, a media/game room, a large private outdoor patio space that is furnished and programmed for various uses, and on-site offices for management and social service functions. Social services that emphasize independent living, wellness, and empowerment will be provided to residents in the newly created community spaces. These services will include case management, medical screenings and vaccinations, counseling services, training programs in personal finance and computers, resident management opportunities, and access to transportation.
The apartment complex is located within walking distance of public transportation, employment centers, shopping and business districts, a supermarket, church, and Hudson County’s main administration building. Each household will receive Section 8 rental subsidy and pay 30% of their income towards rent.
“This development will not only enable seniors on fixed incomes and individuals with special needs secure high quality affordable housing, but also promote integration, and an active lifestyle with greater access to public transit, and retail services around the city,” said HMFA Executive Director Marchetta. “We are thrilled to provide the capital financing that will enable the development of Catherine Todd Apartments, which will contribute a great deal to the local and state economy.”
HMFA estimates that the project, which will cost approximately $24.1 million to rehabilitate, will generate approximately $38.2 million in one-time economic output and approximately 228 direct, indirect, and induced full-time jobs during construction. Upon completion, the project will continue to add value to the community by providing approximately $4.3 million in ongoing economic output and 24 direct, indirect, and induced full-time jobs annually.
The project will be developed by the Michaels Development Company, which has over 30 years of experience in producing quality affordable housing, and has successfully developed over 25,000 housing units in 18 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
For more information on HMFA programs, please call 1-800-NJHOUSE or (609) 278-7400, or visit www.njhousing.gov