NEWARK—Mayor Booker and other dignitaries attended a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of the [email protected] Square Housing Development at 98-102 Broad Street, in Newark’s North Ward.
The total investment for this phase of the project is $10.2 million. The other phases of the project consist of 45 newly constructed modern condominium homes, of which 12 are affordable homes and 33 “emerging market” homes, all for sale. The Harmony Square housing development consists of two mid-rise buildings, containing 20 and 21 condominiums and two duplexes, each containing two condominiums. They will be sold to low, moderate, and emerging market income households. All the apartments conform to the energy-saving requirements of the Energy Star program. Green elements were incorporated in the construction and solar panels were installed in the roof to provide solar energy for the common areas of the building.
M&M Development received $1.905 million from the New Jersey Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency's Special Needs Trust Fund in the form of a construction loan and a 30‐year mortgage. BCDC provided a $100,000 loan from the BCDC Bonding Assistance Fund. Under the BCDC fund, M & M Development will provide subcontracting opportunities for qualifying minority and female‐owned Newark-based firms as well as paid apprenticeship/mentoring for start up Newark‐based firms that need projects to build their work experience. Additional funding for the project comes from $300,000 in Essex County Home Funds, $350,000 from City of Newark Home Funds and $80,000 from a City of Newark Grant.
Ten of the sixteen apartments were developed as homes for victims of domestic violence and young single mothers with children. M&M Development is working with several Newark-based social service organizations including The Apostle’s House, Safe House and Convenant House to select these tenants.
The Booker administration has made the creation of affordable and low-income housing one of its highest priorities. Through the determined leadership of Newark’s Department of Economic and Housing development, the City of Newark has doubled the rate of affordable housing production since taking office in July 2006. Through partnerships with such organizations as Episcopal Community Development, Project Live, Inc., La Casa de Don Pedro, New Community Corporation and philanthropists like musician Jon Bon Jovi and Oprah Winfrey, the City of Newark has completed or started construction of more than 1,500 units of new affordable and low-income housing developments in every ward.