Nonprofit organizations planning to construct 12 units in Morristown, two houses in Denville

Groundbreakings for low-income homes set for Morris sites
Nonprofit organizations planning to construct 12 units in Morristown, two houses in Denville

BY MICHAEL DAIGLE, DAILY RECORD

Two nonprofit housing organizations will break ground on projects this week that will expand the supply of housing for lower-income workers in Morris County.

On Tuesday, Homeless Solutions Inc. will start to build a 12-unit apartment complex on Abbett Avenue in Morristown.

The new housing will expand the agency’s inventory of permanent units it can offer families.

Homeless Solutions operates temporary housing that gives 145 people a night a place to stay, transitional housing and an apartment complex on Jean Street in Morris Township.

On Thursday, Morris Habitat for Humanity will kick off a project in Denville for two homes to be built on an acre donated by the township. Denville took 1 acre for the homes from a 33-acre open- space tract.

When the Homeless Solutions’ Morristown project was announced, Dan McGuire, director of the Headquarters Development Division, said the project was designed to fit into the neighborhood of single-family homes.

The 12 units, with one-, two- and three-bedroom units, will be in two buildings, one with eight units, the other with four. The project will conform to the state’s green building standards and is supported through tax-credit financing through the state.

The apartments will be offered to a mix of low- and moderate-income residents, the agency said.

Denville houses

The Morris Habitat project in Denville is a partnership between the township and the agency, officials said.

The homes will be built to comply with regulations from the state Council on Affordable Housing.

Jim Downs of the Downs Group donated the architectural plans for the three-bedroom homes.

Construction is sponsored by the Greenais Family Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, CitiGroup Foundation, PricewaterhouseCoopers and state and federal housing grants.

These types of projects were given boosts in Trenton lately with the signing of a bill that would expand the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit program.

Legislation signed in May by then-Acting Gov. Richard Codey is designed to direct development funds to lower-income neighborhoods.

Legislative boost

Two other bills Codey signed allow municipalities to create tax exemptions for up to five years for houses that have been renovated or reconstructed by charitable entities or nonprofits exclusively using volunteer labor, create permit exemptions for renovations carried out to accommodate handicapped persons, and permit exemptions for houses that are being rebuilt after a fire.

Homeless Solutions and NewBridge Services Inc. of Pequannock were among several Morris County agencies that sent representatives to Trenton recently to speak to Legislators about the need for bills that would support designating 25 percent of all affordable housing built in the state for very-low-income persons. In New Jersey those families earn less than 30 percent of the area median income, or about $25,000 annually for a family of four.

The bill does not call for additional funding, said Bob Parker, executive director of NewBridge Services, who made the trip to Trenton. Approval of the bill, would expand the supply of housing that could be offered to very-low-income residents, he said.

Michael Daigle can be reached at (973) 267-7947.