NJ Gov. Murphy Announces Plan for Restored Affordable Housing Trust Fund

$60 Million Will Develop Affordable Housing, Strengthen Neighborhoods, and Stimulate Development

On February 19, 2020, the Murphy Administration announced its plan for the $60 million in Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) funding.

This funding will advance affordable housing across the state.  The AHTF was restored in Governor Murphy’s FY2020 Budget.  
“Ensuring that every New Jerseyan has a safe, affordable place to call home is a core principle of my Administration’s vision for a stronger and fairer New Jersey,” said Governor Murphy.  
Congratulations to the advocates from across New Jersey who pushed for the restoration of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.  The funding is now available for pre-applications and will be administered by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA.).  This new housing funding will open up doors of opportunity.  DCA will allocate $60 million in AHTF funding to smaller rental and homeownership housing projects sized at 25 or fewer units that often have difficulty obtaining financing. 
Monarch Housing Associates has 30 years of experience working with clients to develop affordable and mixed-income rental housing for seniors, families and persons with special needs.
Please contact Monarch Housing Associate’s COO Asish Patel and our Housing Development Team if you are interested in developing housing and exploring this and other funding options.  Asish can be reached at apatel@monarchhousing.org.
The AHTF dollars will be allocated through three funds, all focused on creating housing for households earning less than 80 percent of Area Median Income (AMI.)  Preference will be given to provide units with deeper affordability. 
Information about the three funds to be allocated is below:
  • The Municipal Settlement Fund, comprising approximately 50% of the AHTF, will help municipalities create smaller-scale projects that fit into the landscapes of their neighborhoods and assist them in fulfilling their court-sanctioned affordable housing settlements. 
  • The Neighborhood Partnerships Fund will dedicate approximately 40% of the AHTF funds to support the development of affordable housing in Qualified Urban Aid Towns, particularly those projects that leverage other existing resources to strengthen their neighborhoods. 
  • The Innovation Fund will dedicate approximately 10% of the AHTF funds for innovative projects that may not fit under the umbrella of the other two funds but that creatively advance the State’s housing goals. 
The allocation plan will:
  • Advance equity in addressing housing needs, 
  • Encouraging leverage of other public and private resources, and 
  • Allow a flexible structure for funds to be used to get projects done. 
DCA will prioritize projects that include municipal leverage; participation in other state-funded community development initiatives; partnerships with private sector investors; sustainability/resilience; walkability; mixed-use; accessibility; and projects addressing gentrification. 
The maximum subsidy for a given project financed through the Municipal Settlement and Neighborhood Partnership Funds is $6 million, while the maximum amount provided per project through the Innovation Fund will be $2 million. All housing units receiving AHTF financing must be deed restricted for a minimum of 20 years. 
Grant guidelines are available on DCA’s website. On March 2, 2020, DCA will host a webinar from 9:00 – 12:00, launching the unified AHTF application.  Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. To move projects quickly through the process, a pre-application can be submitted using this link.  DCA will offer in-person presentations and one-on-one technical assistance.   
You can click on the links for pre-application and guidelines.
The New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, an affiliate of DCA, will provide a targeted curriculum to build the skills and expertise of developers who will use the fund. This will help build the capacity of existing developers, including those from underserved communities, and to encourage new voices in the development field, A small percentage of funds may also be allocated for predevelopment loans to help jump-start projects at the beginning of the development process. 
Click here to learn more about the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
Click here for Governor Murphy’s announcement.