The Jersey City Housing Authority will partner with Jersey City’s Division of Community Development to purchase a 40-unit building in Bergen-Lafayette which will be converted to 100% affordable JCHA units.
Located at 450 Martin Luther King Drive, the building significantly expands affordable housing opportunities for families most in need with federally subsidized public housing units that will lower their rents based on incomes (no more than 30 percent), according to the Fulop administration.
Earlier this month, the City Council unanimously passed a resolution to award $215,000 from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund managed by the DCD to support the JCHA’s acquisition of the property.
“DCD agreed to provide the necessary funding to make this dream a reality for the community by awarding five percent of the project cost to acquire the property” said Deja Anderson, DCD Director.
The acquisition will create 30 new public housing units and also preserves an additional 10 affordable housing units that are set to expire.
According to the administration, Jersey City is adding a new property to the municipal public housing inventory for the first time since 1983.
“This acquisition will have a significantly positive impact on the property, helping countless residents for decades to come,” said Mayor Fulop. “To start, we are creating 30 additional affordable public housing units to offer our low-income families. Second, it will increase residents’ access to community services. Third, this will improve operations throughout the site. Lastly, it will reduce the amount of rent public housing tenants have to pay so that they can live in a quality home they may not otherwise be able to afford for their families.”
The Fulop administration is pointing to the recent passage of the Affordable Housing Overlay and last year’s Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance, as evidence of its commitment to incentivizing and growing affordable housing citywide.
The administration, however, agreed to the current IZO after a previous ordinance supported by the administration with lower affordable unit requirements was successfully challenged in court by the Fair Share Housing Center.
In contrast, last month the administration, supported by Fair Share Housing Center, pushed through the Affordable Housing Overlay that allows for greater density throughout the city provided developers “fulfill certain community benefits and performance standards.” The overlay was opposed by a wide range of neighborhood groups.
“Housing is a human right” said State Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, who has served as Chairman of the JCHA for 14 years. “As our city continues to grow, so too will the need for affordable housing options for our families.”
The mid-rise apartment building contains 1-3 bedroom apartments and substantial community space with a separate entrance from Oak Street. In addition, the street level includes 6,200 square feet of commercial space with separate storefront entrances along MLK Drive.
“The exciting news here is that we are adding more public housing for the first time in several decades, which is especially critical amid the growing need for quality, affordable housing as families across the nation struggle to overcome unprecedented economic hardships,” said Vivian Brady-Phillips, JCHA Director.
Image courtesy of Google Street View