Springfield gets award for half-dozen affordable homes involving Habitat

Published October 31, 2016
By Rose Krebs

SPRINGFIELD — The municipality recently received a community development award for a planned affordable housing project that would replace two dilapidated houses with six to eight new residences.

Mayor Denis McDaniel accepted the award Oct. 21 at a ceremony in Monroe, Monmouth County, from the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, an organization that supports the development of affordable homes statewide.

Staci Berger, president and CEO of the network, said Springfield was recognized for partnering with Habitat for Humanity of Burlington County on the project.

"It's a project that has been years in the works," Berger said. "It's making progress. It's good to be able to say they've moved the ball down the court. It's a good development. The folks in the community need it."

The cost has been estimated at $160,000 for one of the homes, or $1.2 million if all eight are built.

McDaniel said the two rundown properties on 2 acres on Jacksonville-Jobstown Road near Columbus-Jobstown Road will be replaced by three-bedroom rancher-style homes. Work on the first units likely will begin in the spring, he said.

The plans will soon go before the township's land use boards. The municipality used $250,000 from its affordable housing trust fund to buy the properties and pay for engineering and other costs, McDaniel said. The trust fund includes money collected from developers who build in town.

The land will be donated to Habitat for Humanity as part of the agreement, the mayor said. The units built will count toward the township's affordable housing obligation.

The existing buildings will be demolished in the next month, McDaniel said. The intersection is slated for realignment and improvements.

That work, which would use state grant money, is expected to be completed soon. The intersection would be made safer with a 90-degree angle and a stop sign in a more visible sight line, the mayor said. Also, a grant is being used to extend a bike path to the intersection.

"It's good for the town in that it is providing a safer intersection for the vehicles coming into and out of Jobstown," McDaniel said. "And it's going to bring six to eight new families to our community."

Families who move into the homes will have to undergo homeowner counseling done by Habitat for Humanity, he said.

Habitat officials previously said the houses would be available to low- and moderate-income families in the 30 to 60 percent median income range. Mortgages will be based on their monthly income, with homeowners making monthly payments that do not exceed 30 percent of their gross monthly income.

Enjoying this series? Become a Burlington County Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 33 cents a day.