Genesis Cos. Launches $20M Rehab of NJ Apartments

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Vista Village Apartments in East Orange, a former public housing facility, is a 100-percent affordable building that includes 180 units.

Genesis Companies, a minority-owned developer of affordable housing, has partnered with East Orange Housing Authority to launch an approximately $20 million rental property rehabilitation in East Orange, N.J. Located at 70 South Burnet Street, the building being renovated is Vista Village Apartments, a 100 percent affordable apartment community for seniors and adults with disabilities. 

The partnership’s work will result in energy and critical systems upgrades, along with moderate unit and common-area rehabilitation that will address deferred maintenance and wear and tear related to the aging of Vista Village Apartments. Construction began in August and is slated to be complete in May of next year. 

Long-term affordability

A nine-story, 180-unit former public housing development, Vista Village Apartments was approved for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program. Inclusion in the program will allow all residential units with Vista Village apartments to be subsidized through the Project-based Section 8 program. That government-funded program furnishes rental housing to low-income households in privately-owned and managed rental units.

All units will be restricted to households earning no more than 60 percent of area median income (AMI). Half the units will be restricted to households earning no more than 50 percent of AMI. These restrictions will be maintained long term as part of the project’s commitment under the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York’s Affordable Housing Program.

This unique public-private partnership between Genesis and the East Orange Housing Authority to rehabilitate and maintain the long-term affordability of the Vista Village Apartments is a testament to our belief in affordable housing and the tremendous role it plays in New Jersey,” said Genesis Companies founder and managing partner Karim Hutson. “Our work with the East Orange Housing Authority furthers our mission of keeping urban communities accessible to everyone, and Vista Village allows us to preserve and provide quality housing for New Jersey’s senior population.”

Crucial infusion

Having formerly served as board chairman of the East Orange Housing Authority, mayor Ted R. Green said he understood the importance of public-private partnerships in boosting quality affordable housing. “And I thank Genesis Companies for making such a critical investment in the City of East Orange,” he added. “Now, as mayor, I am looking forward to supporting and expanding partnerships like this one that will bring much-needed improvements to our housing for seniors and disabled.”

Added Wilbert Gill, executive director of the East Orange Housing Authority, “This is a historic milestone in the 60-plus year history of the East Orange Housing Authority. This project, among many, continues our Building Homes, Changing Lives Campaign, and is an example of our mission in action to holistically enhance the quality of life through partnerships, social services and sustainable housing opportunities.

“Our partnership with Genesis and the City of East Orange is an example of accessing additional resources to strengthen capacity to expand our . . .  stock of affordable housing, while improving the lives of our residents.” 

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