Affordable housing for special-needs families planned in Middle Township

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Affordable housing for special-needs families planned in Middle Township

Officials announced on Friday that 10 single-family homes would be built in Cape May Court House for special-needs families in financial need following Hurricane Sandy.

The New Jersey Development Authority is providing a $500,000 low-interest loan to a non-profit developer to construct two-story rentable homes along Patsy’s Way in the Middle Township community.

Other projects throughout the state are also being given part of the $6 million announced by the Christie administration this week. Officials made the loan announcement on Friday at the Middle Township municipal building.

Hurricane Sandy last fall brought high winds, severe flooding and power outages and made many homes inhabitable, especially on the barrier islands.

If the 10 single-family affordable homes are properly managed in Cape May Court House, Middle Township Mayor Dan Lockwood said they’ll be a large benefit to the municipality.

Ground could be broken in two or three months on the four-acre site in Middle Township, said Ron Rukenstein, president of developer Rukenstein and Associates LL of Mercer County.

Families could start to move into the homes starting as early as the spring, he said. The houses would be two stories, with a porch.

Rukenstein could not provide the total cost of the Court House project.

The tenants would be referred and screened by the United Cerebral Palsy of North, Central and Southern New Jersey Inc.

“Affordable housing projects like the one here in Cape May Court House will have an important ripple effect in Sandy-impacted communities and will create urgently needed, safe and affordable housing for New Jersey families,” DCA Commissioner Richard E. Constable III said in a prepared statement.

The money is coming from the predevelopment loan fund. That’s part of the New Jersey disaster recovery action plan that determines how the state will use $1.82 in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery money provided by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The state DCA is administering the distribution of CDBG Disaster Recovery money across New Jersey.

Cape May County isn’t the only project to receive predevelopment loan money.

Three buildings in Atlantic City will be transformed into a 58-unit rental property for low- to moderate-income people 55 and older; a site will be redeveloped in Newark into a 152-unit assisted living residence for senior citizens; and a location in Fair Lawn, Bergen County, will be turned into 64-unit senior housing complex.

“The low-interest loans we are announcing today are supporting the redevelopment of these properties to support the ongoing efforts to restore and rebuild the economy and vibrancy of impacted communities throughout the state,” said NJRA Executive Director Leslie A. Anderson in a prepared statement.  “These funds assist non-profit developers at the early stages of development to allow them to complete site preparation work as well as work to finalize construction and permanent financing.”

In August, the state announced its commitment of more than $135 million in CDBG Disaster Recovery money to help establish 2,250 affordable housing opportunities in the nine counties impacted by Sandy, including Cape May County.

Also, predevelopment loans could help create 1,000 affordable housing units over two years in the state, according to a press release.


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