Second Phase of Supportive Housing Development Provides 49 Homes for Homeless and At-Risk Veterans in New Jersey
BERNARDS TOWNSHIP – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) staff along with representatives from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and state and local officials celebrated the grand opening of the second phase of Valley Brook Village, an affordable, permanent supportive housing project. The community will provide homes for an additional 49 homeless and at-risk low-income veterans at a 16-acre site located on the campus of the VA New Jersey Health Care System in Lyons, New Jersey.
“Supporting our veterans when they complete their service to our country and come home is just as important as supporting them on the front lines,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, DCA Commissioner. “The completion of the second phase of Valley Brook Village helps to honor our commitment to take care of veterans at every stage of their career and life. Governor Murphy and I are grateful to the public and private partners that have worked together to expand this facility for New Jersey’s veterans.”
“Homelessness and veteran should never be in the same sentence. Any efforts to mitigate this issue is a step in the right direction to support those who willingly defended our country,” said Jemal J. Beale, Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMAVA) and The Adjutant General.
The second phase of the Valley Brook Village project provides an additional 50 furnished one-bedroom apartments, 49 of which are rentals for veterans and one of which is set aside for a live-in responder.
The facility has a program space for homeless veterans with supportive services including case management services to all residents of Valley Brook Village, as well as programming and outreach coordination and vocational training.
Resident services are provided by Peabody Resident Services, Inc., a HUD-certified organization that provides resident service coordinators, licensed social workers and registered nurses on staff that offer a full complement of wrap-around services to increase the veteran’s economic well-being and self-sufficiency.
DCA awarded 49 project-based housing vouchers under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program to provide rental assistance to homeless and at-risk veterans and their families.
NJHMFA, an affiliate of the DCA, awarded highly competitive 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits which generated $10.7 million in private equity to help fund this project. Additional funding came from TD Bank, the Department of Veterans Affairs Military Construction (MILCON), Bernards Township Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Somerset County Homelessness Trust Fund and Home Depot Foundation, Met Life and Citi-Corp grants.
“NJHMFA is proud to have been part of this rewarding development to provide affordable and supportive homes for veterans who have served so honorably on behalf of the country,” said NJHMFA Executive Director Charles A. Richman. “We were pleased to have awarded the project Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which make projects like this possible and have been the backbone of the creation of affordable housing opportunities throughout the state for families, seniors and individuals with special needs.”
The first phase of Valley Brook Village, which included 62 affordable supportive apartments, was completed in 2013 and was also funded in part by NJHMFA. Phase I received 50 project-based housing vouchers from DCA under the HUD-VASH program.
The apartments are conveniently located near retail shopping and community resources including two grocery stores, two pharmacies, two libraries, and medical services on-site at the VA Medical Center. The NJ Transit Lyons train station, a handicap accessible facility, is located less than a mile from the apartments and a site-owned van is available to transport residents to local amenities and services.
Designed to be highly energy efficient and handicapped accessible, Valley Brook Village complies with NJHMFA’s New Jersey Green Futures Program that covers energy efficiency, renewable sources, siting and land use, water conservation, building durability, indoor air quality, operations, and maintenance, and complies with barrier free and accessibility standards. The facility also has a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, featuring unit amenities that include high efficiency central air-conditioning and heat, and Energy Star-rated appliances.
The project was jointly developed by Affordable Housing and Services Collaborative, Inc. Peabody Properties, Inc. and Windover Construction, Inc. and Community Hope Inc. Peabody Properties is a certified Women-Owned Business Enterprise that provides property management services and development services for more than 13,000 units of residential housing with more than 6,000 of these units for elderly and or disabled residents. Windover Construction, Inc is made up of industry professionals with a staff that has over 250 years of combined experience. Affordable Housing and Services Collaborative Inc is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with over 1,500 units of affordable housing with a focus on service enriched communities.
Community Hope is a New Jersey-based organization that provides services and housing opportunities for homeless and at-risk veterans and individuals with mental health disabilities.
The mission of DCA’s Division of Housing and Community Resources 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 was established in 1967 and today offers a wide range of programs and services, including energy assistance, housing vouchers, affordable housing production, fire and building safety, community planning and development, local government management and finance, and disaster recovery.