WESTFALL TWP. - Westfall Senior Apartments, a 93-unit residential complex designed for affordable housing, is expected to break ground this year in Westfall Township, along the Delaware River. Announcement of the project and state approval of needed tax credits, was made at the Pike County Commissioners meeting, June 18.
WESTFALL TWP.- Westfall Senior Apartments, a 93-unit residential complex designed for affordable housing, is expected to break ground this year in Westfall Township, along the Delaware River. Announcement of the project and state approval of needed tax credits, was made at the Pike County Commissioners meeting, June 18.
Commissioner Matthew Osterberg stated that they have been working with the developer, Jonah Madelbaum of Warwick Properties, for a little over two years on the proposal. Osterberg said it is important to be able to keep our senior citizens as close to home as possible Affordable housing is crucial. A lot of time and many meetings took places working on the project, which will be paid with private funding aided by state tax credits.
Harry Forbes, a former Pike County Commissioner and currently the northeast regional aid to Governor Tom Corbett, provided information from the governor on the newly announced tax credits. Westfall Senior Apartments was only of 24 approved projects in the state, out of 75 applicants. Corbett announced the award of $20.4 million in federal tax credits and $8.5 million in federal PennHOMES funding that will allow constuction of the multi-family housng developments in suburban and rural areas of Pennsylvania.
The total cost of the Westfall Senior Apartments project is estimated at $12 million. Madelbaum said that the state has approved approximately $9 million in tax credits.
The tax credits were approved by the Penn Housing Finance Agency (PHFA). This agency works to provide affordable home ownership and special housing options for older adults, low- and moderate- income families, and people with special housing needs.
Madelbaum said a strong team effort brought about this favorable result, and credited Commissioner Osterberg for his leadership. The project received approval from Westfall Township officials over the past year. Madelbaum said that the PHFA favored projects that were ready to proceed, and the Westfall project scored high.
He will now be negotiating with banks for loans. Madelbaum said that loans for affordable housing are hard to obtain as there is not a lot of cash flow. State clearance for environmental review and archaeological impact still must be obtained. Madelbaum said he is hopeful to be able to have the permits in hand in time to have the foundation laid before winter 2014.
The project will be done in two phases. The first will include 48 units and a unit for the building supervisor. The approvals received are for the first phase. The second phase will add 44 housing units. There will also be an office for the project manager.
Each apartment will have one bedroom, a bathroom, living area and kitchen. Each room will be air-conditioned. They will all be adaptable for the handicapped. Ten percent of the units will be built to accommodate wheel chairs and the facility itself will be fully accessible to those with disabilities.
Entrance to the facility will be secure so no one can just wander in unexpectedly, he noted. Grounds will be landscaped, and the complex will overlook the Delaware River.
Westfall Senior Apartments will be located on seven acres along Hulst Drive, off Route 6/209, close to K-Mart. Warwick Properties already owns the land. Paddlers Point development is nearby.
Madelbaum said that preference will be given to local contractors and suppliers in building the project.
Occupancy will be available to senior citizens and people with disabilities, who are of low to moderate income. Madelbaum said that he favors veterans in selecting occupants who apply for an apartment.
A regulatory agreement requiring that this remain an affordable housing project will be built into the deed, in perpetuity for 50 years.
Gary Baker, PA Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) was also credited for his intercession on behalf of the project application before the PFHA.
The project engineer, Nate Oiler of RKR Hess, explained the plans at the Commissioners' meeting.
Madelbaum said that he operates affordable housing facilities in Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties in New York State. This is his first venture in Pennsylvania. Madelbaum resides in Warwick, NY.