Newark Mayor Cory Booker & HELP USA Break Ground
15:58PM on February 23 2011
For Immediate Release
HELP USA, MAYOR CORY A. BOOKER, AND THE MAKE IT RIGHT FOUNDATION
BREAK GROUND ON GREEN, AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN CLINTON HILL, NEWARK
Public-private partnership will provide 56 units of rental housing for veterans and low income families.
Newark, NJ. February 18, 2011— In response to President Obama’s recent call to end homelessness in the United States, HELP USA broke ground today with Newark Mayor Cory Booker and The Make It Right Foundation on its second Newark project located at 634-648 Clinton Avenue. The project provides 56 units of rental housing for veterans and low income families. Funding for the project was provided through Low Income Housing Tax Credits awarded by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, and Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 funding awarded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
HELP’s prior project in Newark – Newark Genesis Apartments – brought 50 units of affordable rental housing for individuals living with AIDS and low income families to the North Ward and also earned a national tax credit award for supportive housing projects for this development. At Clinton Avenue significant emphasis will be given to incorporating green and sustainable features within the overall building design and construction; the project is currently designed to meet LEED Gold environmental standards, the development team is considering additional ‘green’ elements that will allow the development to attain LEED Platinum certification.
CLICK HERE for more detailed information regarding the LEED certification of this project.
Mayor Booker commented, “This is a prime example of old-fashioned American progress, which is only achieved through cooperative hard work and focused determination.” Under the Mayor’s leadership, the City has doubled the production of affordable housing and is moving to continue the trend. His sentiments were echoed by HELP USA chairman, Maria Cuomo Cole, who stated, “We are proud to work with Mayor Booker, the City of Newark, and all of our other partners as we strive to build better lives in this community.”
The Clinton Hill facility will include computer rooms, a fitness center, meeting rooms, and community service space. The latter will provide space for programs that will serve veterans, other tenants, and members of the local community. These programs will be operated by HELP USA and by Newark-based service providers. The building will also include a rooftop garden designed to be used by the tenants for growing vegetables. HELP will implement a gardening program that will be coordinated with similar therapeutic gardening projects the Veterans Administration currently operates at the East Orange and Lyons VA Medical Centers.
ABOUT HELP USA: HELP USA is a national not-for-profit organization with a mission to empower the homeless and others in need to become and remain self-reliant. HELP USA was founded in 1986, and has grown to become one of the largest developers and operators of service-enriched transitional and low-income permanent housing in the nation. To date, HELP USA has developed and/ or operates more than 2,500 units of housing and operates 34 residential sites across the country, including transitional housing for homeless adults, families, and veterans; shelters for victims of domestic violence; and permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless and low-income families. The Clinton Hill project is HELP’s fifth affordable housing development in the last three years.
Make It Right Foundation: MIR was founded by Brad Pitt and others to build new single family homes in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans, where they have constructed the nation’s “largest and greenest neighborhood” as recognized by the United States Green Building Council. MIR has since grown to become
a national non-profit corporation committed to rebuilding communities through the design and construction of safe and affordable sustainable housing. MIR works closely with nationally renowned consultants on green technology and related environmental issues; they also have an Architectural Advisory Board comprised of many internationally acclaimed architectural firms.
Project Funding: The primary funding for the project was provided through Low Income Housing Tax Credits awarded to HELP USA by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. Raymond James Tax Credit Funds provided tax credit syndication services for the development; tax credit equity investment and construction and permanent financing were obtained through TD Bank.
Additional funding was provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. These funds were secured by the City of Newark and Make It Right through a grant from HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2.
The Newark Housing Authority awarded Project-Based Vouchers to the development; these Section 8 vouchers will provide rental assistance to veterans with disabilities.