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“Some people thought we’d never get a shovel in the ground,” Donna Blaze, CEO of the Affordable Housing Alliance (AHA), told the crowd on a rainy Thursday morning. But on October 23rd AHA did just that with a groundbreaking event for its newest project, known as the Allen House Apartments. “The design and location reflect the commitment and the compassion of Millstone Township,” Blaze said.
This ten unit apartment complex, housing seniors 62 and over, will offer units on a four acre, lakeside property in Millstone Township, across from the municipal building. Following the Alliance mission, these ten units will be affordable to low and moderate income seniors and will help Millstone Township meet its affordable housing obligation. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) income limit for Monmouth County, 2014 is $30,600 for one person and $34,950 for a family size of two. As these apartments are one bedroom units, the maximum family size would be two people.
The success of this project is due to collaboration among Millstone Township, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Home Loan Bank of NY, NeighborWorks America and the Affordable Housing Alliance.
Mrs. Blaze also went on to thank Congressman Chris Smith, the consulting engineers on the project, Leon S. Avakian Inc., the contractor, C. Raymond Davis & Sons Inc., and senior associate, Asish Patel, from the Monarch Housing Associates.
Millstone Township Mayor Bob Kinsey also addressed the crowd on the town’s experience with the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH). “The town purchased this property in 2006 and soon after made it a part of the COAH plan. In the past 18 months, we’ve developed over 20 COAH units. This project, in particular, is a very unique property for seniors.” Former Millstone Mayor, Nancy Grbelja, talked about the successful partnership the town has had with the Alliance. She hopes the partnership continues in the future and feels that Millstone is a COAH model for the rest of the state.
This is the most recent Alliance project to be developed in Monmouth County, adding to the approximately 400 housing units in AHA’s portfolio. Allen House will be the Alliance`s second sizable senior project, with the Carver House in Neptune, NJ being the first. This is the third partnership between the Alliance and the township of Millstone in the last three years. To date, AHA has provided housing for 26 clients in partnership with Millstone Township, leveraging nearly four million dollars in local, state and federal funding. The budget for the Allen House apartments is just under two million dollars.
Maria Maio-Messano, field office director for HUD-Newark, appreciated the work it took to get the development done for this project. HUD provided 90% of the funds for construction. “Tenacity doesn’t cover it,” she commented. “It takes courage and a collaborative spirit. I envy the seniors who live here.”
NeighborWorks America was also represented. Keith Getter, relationship manager for the national nonprofit organization, spoke about the outcome of a project such as this. “The end result of a project we invest in is to transform lives. The people here understand what it takes to develop this project. Despite the rain right now, at the end of the day, it is sunny and bright. The expertise and the needs of the community all come together. If there’s a need, here’s a helping hand. In the spirit of the Affordable Housing Alliance, I offer you a heartfelt thank you and congratulations.”
The groundbreaking initiates the start of the construction by C. Raymond Davis & Sons, based on a design provided by local architect, David Feldman. Applications will be available at the municipal administrative building or through the Affordable Housing Alliance directly. Applications can be received by calling 732-389-2958 or going on line at www.housingall.org to do an online intake. Construction is anticipated to be complete in June of 2015, at which time a random selection of applicants will be made from those who have pre-qualified. The development includes the expansion of AHA`s Spring House property`s social service program, providing monthly medical screenings for residents, and transportation services to popular destinations with 2 outings per year
The Alliance is a private, nonprofit 501(c) 3 corporation in the state of New Jersey and has been providing housing development and management services to Monmouth County and the surrounding regions for nearly 25 years. Please contact Kelly Cordrey at email@example.com for more information on this event.