New Jersey Affordable Seniors Project Gets Green Light

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

Lawrenceville, N.J.—The Planning Board of the Township of Florence, N.J., has approved plans for a 66-unit affordable seniors housing development in the township. The property, which will be developed by Community Investment Strategies Inc., will replace the dilapidated Marcella Duffy School building with a 65,000-square-foot, three-story building to be called Heritage Village at Duffy Manor.

When completed, the property will include 61 one-bedroom and five two-bedroom units, each of which will feature Energy Star appliances. A fitness center, community room, health and wellness center, computer center, library and laundry facilities are among the property’s amenities, and plans also include on-site social programming and a community bus for planned outings and shopping. Roof-mounted solar panels will capture energy for common areas and the property management office.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York Affordable Housing Program awarded $1.17 million for the $15 million project, which will begin construction early next year. Additional financial commitments include more than $1 million from the Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Fund and $500,000 from Burlington County HOME Funds. The developers also expect funding from other federal, state and local sources.

In the future, “financing will be more difficult due to competing agendas for very little federal subsidies,” Christiana Foglio, founder and CEO of Community Investment Strategies, tells MHN. “Historically, the priority has been to house families over seniors. With looming Medicaid cuts, seniors will have less disposable income to make up any subsidy shortfalls from the federal government.”

Community Investment Strategies has developed a number of different multifamily properties since its founding in 1994, including multiple-building apartments, townhomes and high-rise complexes. The company’s current portfolio includes more than 2,000 apartment-rental units located throughout New Jersey.

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