Trust Funds Released by State Will Provide Homes for Families, Seniors, People with Special Needs
Posted by Adam Gordon on August 26th 2014
Trust Funds Released by State Will Provide Homes for Families, Seniors, People with Special Needs - Council on Affordable Housing Votes Today Start Process of Finding Municipalities Can Spend Housing Trust Funds
Trenton, NJ – In a meeting held this morning, the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) released housing trust funds held by 13 municipalities totaling $14 million: Cherry Hill, Manasquan, Long Hill, Tinton Falls, Gloucester City, Florence, Randolph, North Caldwell, Summit, Lawrence, Mendham, South Brunswick, and Clifton. The release of the funds will support the construction and rehabilitation of homes throughout the state and begin a process that FSHC anticipates will result in a substantial majority of over $160 million once at risk being approved for use by municipalities and non-profit organizations.
“This is a good start that will result in homes in 13 municipalities being available to lower-income families, seniors, and people with special needs,” said Kevin D. Walsh, Associate Director of Fair Share Housing Center. “Throughout the state, there will be new homes, and existing homes will be improved. We are pleased to see that the state has started this process and look forward to this moving forward so that money needed to build homes for lower-income New Jerseyans is available.”
The released funds, which COAH has found are committed for expenditure and green-lighted to be used in the ways proposed by municipalities, support a variety of projects including:
• $3 million to South Brunswick, where Foxchase Development is working with The Rose House and New Bridge Services, organizations that serve the developmentally disabled community
• $1.3 million to Tinton Falls to assist Fox Chase II, a section of Fox Chase, an inclusionary development, with a deed extension program, affordability assistance, and capital repairs for failing decks on the affordable units.
• $1.5 million to Randolph for its work with Morris Habitat for Humanity for development of approximately 25 “for sale” affordable units on a 2.5-acre property owned by the Township and to be donated to Habitat as well as funds for new construction and affordability assistance for affordability assistance to be administered by Habitat.
• $403,747 to Long Hill for health and safety improvements at Lounsberry Meadow, which is an existing facility for seniors and the developmentally disabled. Proposed expenditures include an emergency electric generator and ADA improvements.
• $348,726 to North Caldwell for the Hilltop Redevelopment project.
• $600,000 to Summit in support of the municipality’s Housing Rehabilitation Program
• $666,759 to Gloucester Township for the future development of age-restricted affordable housing.
• $867,839 to Clifton to support the development of two special needs group homes.
• $48,557 to Mendham to aid Mendham Area Senior Housing (MASH) in providing rental subsidies to very low and low income households.
The funds approved today as being committed for expenditure were reviewed by COAH under a 2008 law that is intended to ensure that municipalities spend funds entrusted to them within four years. For the past two years, the state, after initially threatening to take all available funds and including them in the general fund, failed to move forward with the seizure. Today’s vote concludes the process as to those 13 municipalities. More than $140 million in additional funds remain to be reviewed by the agency in future meetings,.
“While this is a good start, it is important to see what happens next,” said Walsh. “We know that there is $14 million that has been protected and we want to know that more decisions will be made soon to get more funding out the door so it can be used.”