Everybody knows somebody who needs affordable housing

Moorestown unveils low-cost housing units

By JASON LAUGHLIN
Courier-Post Staff

MOORESTOWN
Eight new affordable housing units got a ribbon-cutting Thursday in Moorestown.

Staff from the developer, MEND , of Moorestown, discussed the demand for affordable housing in New Jersey during the event in front of the Chester Avenue development.

“I’d like to tell you after 38 years there’s less of a need for affordable housing,” MEND president Matt Reilly said. “There isn’t. There’s more of a need.”

New Jersey is in the process of redefining how it provides affordable housing.

A court decision this year ruled the Department of Community Affairs has been underestimating the need for affordable housing in the state and needs to devise a new formula.

Meanwhile, Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts has introduced a bill that would require communities to build all mandated affordable housing units within their own borders. And Gov. Jon S. Corzine has challenged the state to produce 100,000 new units of affordable housing during his administration.

“Everybody knows somebody who needs affordable housing,” Reilly said.

All units in the two-story Chester Avenue development have been rented, organizers said.

The units were made available to people earning from 30 to 60 percent of the state’s median income. Rents range from $320 to $669, depending on the tenant’s income. Each apartment is built for two occupants.

Margaret McClafferty, who moved into a Creed II apartment in February, showed off her home Thursday afternoon, speaking enthusiastically about the size of the bedroom and bathroom, and the washer and dryer in the kitchen. She moved in after her apartment in Merchantville was sold, she said. Creed II allows her a place to live in an upscale community near family, she said.

“Location,” the retired emergency room nurse said of her motivation. “I have a son who lives right here in Moorestown.”

Creed II, a $1.1 million project, is unique both in its construction and its accessibility. The two buildings that make up Creed II are energy-efficient and include recycled materials. The buildings’ four ground floor units are handicapped accessible and two units are set aside for the blind or hearing impaired.

“This is a great project meeting the need for affordable housing but also for affordable housing for the disabled,” Moorestown Mayor Kevin Aberant said.

Reach Jason Laughlin at (856) 486-2476.
Published: May 25. 2007 3:10AM