Continuing to build upon his multi-year effort to assist in Trenton’s renaissance, Governor Chris Christie announced $9 million in funding to subsidize the construction of affordable and market rate rental units in the Capital City through two complementary Department of Community Affairs programs.
“The availability of high-quality affordable housing in Trenton, along with our safety and quality of life initiatives, is essential to our comprehensive effort to attract and retain residents, visitors and employers,” said Governor Christie. “We want the world to know that Trenton is a gem, brimming with historical, entertainment and recreational opportunities. This new housing plan is one piece of the puzzle that will bring more people to Trenton, increase commerce for local businesses and create jobs.”
The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is pledging $4.5 million in State Housing Trust Fund monies to subsidize the construction of affordable units in the city. This Trust Fund provides a critical source of gap financing to support the construction and preservation of permanent, high-quality housing for New Jersey’s low- and moderate- income individuals and families. DCA will issue a Request for Proposals for projects to be subsidized by this Fund, and subsidies may be used city-wide. In combination with programs like Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, these subsidies are expected to result in 50 to 60 new affordable units in Trenton’s neighborhoods.
In addition, DCA is making $4.5 million available for rental market-rate housing in Trenton, through the Downtown Living Initiative as part of the overall urban revitalization strategy. Projects can be new construction or conversion, but consideration will be given to substantial rehabilitation projects in buildings that have been vacant for at least two years and are critical to a neighborhood. Priority will be given to projects that demonstrate how a market-rate rental project can be integrated with or provide stimulus to other development projects, such as retail, office, or urban home ownership. This funding targets the Downtown, Hanover Academy, Mill Hill and Train Station neighborhoods.
Governor Christie in recent weeks has announced other programs designed to revitalize Trenton, including the construction of a pedestrian walkway from the roof of the State House parking garage over Route 29 to a 4.5-acre strip of land that will be developed into a park by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). This estimated $15 million bridge to be built by the Department of Transportation will provide access to a part of the Trenton waterfront separated from the downtown area since the 1950s when Route 29 was developed. The DEP will use an estimated $3.5 million in Natural Resource Damages funds to pay for the development of Trenton Falls Park.
In May, Governor Christie announced a package of initiatives to improve safety in Trenton. These projects include demolishing 400 to 500 abandoned and blighted properties; installing up to 150 additional surveillance cameras; improving street lighting; enhancing after-hours enforcement near bars and bodegas; and supplementing the efforts and resources of the Trenton Police Department with coverage around the Trenton Transportation Center by NJ TRANSIT police and the Attorney General’s Office Shooting Response Team.Related Articles: