Category Archives: New Jersey

For affordable apartments, the waiting list can be years long

Anthony Marchetta, executive director of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency said there is a “significant, unsatisfied demand for affordable housing” in the state. The agency allocates the low-income housing tax credits the state receives from the federal government.

He said the cost of living has risen so high in New Jersey that many people earning moderate wages have been seeking out income-based rentals in much higher numbers than before.

According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, nearly half of the country’s unsubsidized rentals available for $400 a month or less in 2011 were built more than 50 years ago.

On Wednesday, drawing criticism from housing advocates, the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing proposed new regulations that call for fewer than 31,000 units of affordable housing to be built by 2024. Units built using low-income housing tax credits would be part of that number.

Philadelphia Inquirer

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Jersey City Housing Authority has deal to retrofit 1,600 units for guaranteed energy savings

Jersey City has a deal to finance an energy saving retrofit of 1,600 public housing units. The Jersey City Housing Authority (JCHA) believes the project will cut energy costs by at least 15 percent. As part of the project, Siemens – which won the contract – has guaranteed $900,000 in annual savings and has agreed to pay out any shortfall to that amount. To finance the work, the JCHA used the guaranteed savings to take out a 15 year, $9 million loan. Loan payments not covered by the savings will be funded by a $1.4 million ARRA grant. From the Jersey Journal report:

Jersey City Housing Authority officials have announced a $10 million energy efficiency project they say will slash the authority’s energy bills by at least 15 percent.

The project includes retrofitting 1,600 units of the authority’s older buildings to improve heat control, reduce water consumption, improve building insulation, increase the efficiency of lighting fixtures, and improve boiler efficiency.

"We are going to save significant long-term energy costs," said JCHA Chairman Raj Mukherji. "This will benefit our residents, with reduced carbon emissions, lower energy costs and a healthier environment."

For housing authorities, well-spent stimulus money reaps benefits

NJ examines the impact of housing related ARRA investment and finds positives. The results were borne out by the comprehensive Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) study released in March. That study, which examined $700 million in spending across 20 housing authorities nationwide, found that each dollar in stimulus funds that went to public housing authorities generated an additional $2.12 in incremental economic activity. In New Jersey, that translated into jobs maintained and companies saved. From the Times of Trenton:

[Hugh] McCaffrey [of Southern New Jersey Steel Co.] agreed that while some have questioned the efficacy of the stimulus program, his company benefited from the package immensely.

“I’ve been in many conversations where people wondered if it had any effect, and I’ve always been able to tell them without a doubt that it helped us,” he said. “We were benefactors of having that type of project available to help our company stem the bleakest time.”

Job of the Day: Director, Department of Housing and Urban Development

Director, Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), Pittsburgh, PA and Newark, NJ. Posted 5/1.

As a Director, you will:

  • Be responsible for the implementation of Public Housing programs including the Section 8 Housing Voucher, Certificate and Moderate Rehabilitation Programs; Capital Fund Programs (Hope IV, development, modernization, and HQS compliance, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Management Assessment Programs (for instance, PHAS, SEMAP; Operating Fund programs (operating subsidy); and resident self-sufficiency and economic independence programs.
  • Provide performance oversight, compliance assurance, technical assistance, coordination, and program implementation for Public Housing Authorities (PHAS) under the jurisdiction of the office.

As last week’s profile of HUD’s people and HUDStat showed, HUD has garnered respect as a part of government that is working. This is a great chance to help provide more leadership for the organization at the local level.

Our job board has the best listings of affordable housing jobs on the web. Check it out and see if there’s a position that’s right for you.

Trenton city council approves $2.8 million for demolition, development of Miller Homes

Trenton’s Miller Homes is moving forward. Uncertainties over minority hiring notwithstanding, the city council approved $2.8 million in funds to keep the multi-phase $105 million project on track. From the Times of Trenton:

Four council members voted for the funding. The council, as well as members of the public, have expressed concern that the project’s facilitators — Trenton Housing Authority (THA), developer Pennrose Properties and general contractor AJD Construction — have not adequately communicated how they intend to ensure that local and minority-owned subcontractors and workers will be able to get jobs on the project.

[The mayor's chief of staff Paul] Sigmund said he would facilitate a meeting between THA and John Harmon, CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, who has said he has extensive contacts among minority-owned contractors and had been largely left out of the planning process.

Trenton council delays vote on $2.8M in funds for Miller Homes demolition over contractor concerns

The tear-down of Trenton’s Miller homes snagged over local / minority hiring. Echoing some of the protests going on in New Orleans about local hiring, Trenton is trying to push the the contractors into defining their hiring plans. From NJ.com:

At issue last night were Councilwoman Kathy McBride’s insistence that Pennrose Properties and AJD Construction, the two contractors hired by THA to spearhead the project, develop uniform guidelines by which local firms would be given access to subcontracting jobs.

Under HUD regulations, 30 percent of the workers hired for the project must be tenants of public housing. In addition, THA Executive Director Herb Brown has said Pennrose and AJD agreed that 30 percent of the contractors hired would be owned by women or minorities.