The needler in the haystack.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Assemblyman Jerry Green brings home the bacon for new YMCA program


The upper floors of Plainfield's historic YNCA
would be converted into 31 studio apartents for
young people aging out of the foster care system.


Plainfield Assemblyman Jerry Green, who is also Speaker Pro Tempore of the New Jersey Assembly, has brought home the bacon for the YMCA, putting together a financing package that will allow the Plainfield YMCA to move forward on a multi-million dollar renovation of the YMCA building that will replace SRO rooms with studio apartments for young people 18-24 who are aging out of the foster care system.

The Assemblyman's office released details on Thursday, July 6 --

Assemblyman Jerry Green announced today that a portion of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Plainfield will be rehabilitated into affordable housing for youth, ages18-24, who are aging out of foster care.

The developer, Eastern Pacific Development, LLC, anticipates construction to begin in December 2017 with an anticipated completion date of May 2019.

The $9.5 million project includes bridge financing recently committed from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Financing Agency (HMFA) during their June 27, 2017 board meeting. The financing includes a $4.86 million permanent bridge loan from revenue bond financing and approximately $3 million in permanent financing from the Sandy Special Needs Housing Fund (SSNHF). Additional sources of income include $6 million in construction financing from New Jersey Community Capital and $500,000 in capital funds from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. The borrower is also applying for 4 percent tax credits.

“I would like to thank the State of New Jersey and congratulate YMCA President Ravenell Williams and YMCA Board President Kieran Anderson, for working with my office on these efforts. This is a unique housing project in Plainfield that many state residents will benefit from.  We will be home to only the second facility in the state to provide housing for youth aging out of foster care. I couldn’t be happier than to know that our Queen City is leading the way in providing these life-changing services,” said Assemblyman Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union).

The existing vacant and dilapidated units located on the second and third floors of the YMCA property will be demolished and substantially rehabilitated to include the new construction of 31 units, at an average of 413 square feet per unit. The building will be also expanded by approximately 5,000 square feet. Thirty of the efficiency units will be designated for youth aging out of foster care and one rent-free unit set aside for the superintendent. The first and fourth floors will remain YMCA facilities.

All units will have private kitchens and bathrooms and Energy Star appliances.  Elevator service, a secured entrance, common laundry facilities, office space for property management and support service functions, on-site parking, and access to all YMCA facilities will also be offered. Additional items in the scope of work include the installation of an elevator, replacement of roof, renovation of downstairs lobby entrance, and new security camera system.

Case management services will be available to the residents, including skills development, housing, education/vocational training, physical/mental health and employment.

The project, located in a Smart Growth Area and a Metro Planning Area, is within walking distance to a grocery store, pharmacy, restaurants, Union County College, social services, buses, and a train station.

Vanguard Realty will provide property management services, with the Plainfield YMCA providing onsite management and maintenance personnel. Security will be staffed 24/7 with the existing security staff that presently services the building.

The proposed net rents, set at Union County Fair Market Rents, are $1,007 per month. The project will provide Section 8 Rental Assistance Vouchers through the Housing Authority of Plainfield.

The developer, Eastern Pacific Development, located in Vineland, specializes in high quality housing, assisting municipalities in meeting their obligation to provide affordable housing, often with the added benefit of renovating older, deteriorating buildings into modern housing complexes. Brookfield Construction will serve as the General Contractor. 


  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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