The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency joined a development group to mark the completion of renovations at 440 Washington St., a 21-story building in Newark that serves as affordable housing for city residents. — Courtesy: HMFA
By Steve Lubetkin
State and local officials cut a ceremonial ribbon Thursday to mark the major rehabilitation of a decades-old building with 200 apartments for working families in the city’s Central Ward.
The 21-story building, located at 440 Washington St., now includes a mix of newly renovated one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments that will be maintained as affordable housing. The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency awarded the development 4 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which generated $8.6 million in private equity and provided $17.4 million in construction and permanent financing.
The project was co-developed by New York-based BRP Companies and St. James A.M.E. Development Corp. The building, which dates to the early 1970s, includes 149 apartments for residents with incomes up to 50 percent of the area median income, 50 apartments for residents with incomes up to 60 percent of AMI and one apartment for a superintendent.
“This renovation is a tremendous quality-of-life investment for hundreds of Newark’s working-class residents and is helping to revive our neighborhoods,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs and chair of the HMFA board. “Governor Murphy and I are pleased to dedicate the necessary resources for maintaining and supporting high-quality affordable housing and rental assistance for those who need it the most.”
The work, which was completed with residents in place, included new kitchens and bathrooms, lighting upgrades, new baseboard heating, new windows, roof replacement, façade repairs, electrical system upgrades, lobby and common area redesign, security upgrades and a new fitness room for residents.
“This project modernized and preserved housing that will continue to be affordable for working families in the heart of the city and helps to reinvest in and grow the community,” HMFA Executive Director Charles A. Richman said. “It also is located in a redevelopment area that is revitalizing the neighborhood and boosting the local economy to help create a stronger New Jersey.”
DCA currently provides rental assistance to five low-income families who live in the complex, two of which are project-based vouchers and three of which are for families with tenant-based vouchers.
In a news release, HMFA touted several other significant financial commitments to rehabilitation of other Central Ward developments in downtown Newark. Last month, a groundbreaking marked the construction start of Somerset Brownstones, which will include 60 affordable apartments. Nearby, the Willows at Symphony Hall is already providing homes affordable to 60 more families.