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Grifa Confirmed as Community Affairs Commissioner
HMFA Receives $966,407 in Federal Funding to Support Foreclosure Prevention Counseling Efforts
AHTCC Announces Winners of the 16th Annual Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Awards
HMFA Hosts Lender and Realtor Training Session
Berry Street Commons Confirmed as First LEED Platinum Buliding in the State of New Jersey
2010 NJ Governor's Conference for Women Welcomes Attendees from Across the State
Seven New Towns Added to Live Where You Work Program
2010 NJ Governor's Housing Conference   

The Monarch in Plainfield, NJ

The Monarch, located in downtown Plainfield, NJ, is a newly constructed four-story mixed-use building that includes a Senior Citizens Center on the first floor and 63 residential condominium units on the upper floors (two through four). All of the residential units have 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and range in size from 1,120 to 1,297 square feet. Three of the residential units are priced affordable for low and moderate income families. The second floor will have a roof top deck accessible to residents and seniors as well as 92 on-site parking spaces. The roof shall contain solar panels.

Under the Choices in Home Ownership Incentives Created for Everyone ("CHOICE") Program, HMFA and Thrift Institutions Community Investment Corporation of New Jersey have provided the developer, Dornoch Plainfield, LLC a total construction loan of $10,147,837 to complete the project.

The project is one of the highest priorities of the City of Plainfield, as it will fill a substantial gap in the redevelopment of the downtown area to aid in stabilizing the neighborhood and address housing and social services. The surrounding neighborhood is predominately multifamily residential dwellings with several commercial establishments. The development is located in both a Smart Growth Area and an Urban Enterprise Zone, and is within close proximity to the North Avenue and Netherwood train stations that serve as a route to New York City.

Bus services are also available to Manhattan and various areas in Union, Somerset, Middlesex, and Essex counties in New Jersey. Highway and Interstate routes that are easily accessible from Plainfield include Route 22, 78, 287, 28, 531, and 620. Other amenities within close proximity of the project include shopping centers, Woodbridge Center, Menlo Park, and Jersey Gardens malls, Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center, and United Family and Children's Services. The Plainfield Police Division and Fire Division are located approximately mile from the project. There are 13 public schools, various churches and the Drake House Museum located in and near the City of Plainfield.

Click here for further information.  
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Free, Statewide Housing Locator in New Jersey

The New Jersey Housing Mortgage and Finance Agency is pleased to offer NJHousing.gov, a free housing locator to helping New Jersey residents locate affordable rental housing options. Searching is completely FREE and anonymous. Tenants can search for housing using a wide variety of criteria like size, location, eligibility requirements and pet friendliness. Listings are up to date and offer up to 10 pictures, map links and neighborhood information so tenants focus only on the properties that fit their needs.

A professional, toll-free call center can provide search results by phone, fax or mail for those who lack access to the Internet. Go to www.NJHousing.gov or call 877.428.8844 for toll-free assistance.
Commissioner Lori Grifa
Commissioner Lori Grifa
The New Jersey State Senate confirmed Lori Grifa as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) on Thursday, May 20. She was sworn into office on June 2 by Governor Chris Christie.
"I am honored that the Senate has approved my nomination to lead the Department of Community Affairs," said Commissioner Grifa. "The DCA is a place where I can marry my passion for sound community development and my professional skill set. I hope to serve Governor Christie and the people of this state with the best I have of both."
Grifa was most recently a member of the law firm Wolff & Samson where she focused on the areas of land use, regulation and environmental law. In this capacity, she also represented municipalities on affordable housing issues. From 2002 to 2003, she served as chief of staff to then state Attorney General David Samson. More...
New Jersey Department of Community Affairs' (DCA) Commissioner Lori Grifa announced on Thursday, May 13, that the New Jersey Housing Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) has been awarded a $966,407 federal grant to support foreclosure prevention efforts statewide. The funding will enable participating HUD certified counseling agencies across the state to provide more foreclosure counseling to households in danger of losing their homes.

"Thousands of people across New Jersey have unfortunately lost their homes to foreclosure. As a result, many have lost their self-confidence and hope in the future," said Commissioner Grifa. "Since the beginning of the economic downturn, the HMFA has been doing what it can to help those households facing foreclosure. This funding will allow the Agency to continue its efforts and reach more people in need." More...
The Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC) congratulates the winners of the 16th Annual Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Awards. Presented to the most outstanding Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) properties in six categories, this national awards program celebrates the best in affordable rental housing development.
This year, the Coalition received an incredible number of entries ­- 40 applications from 22 states. A panel of five judges selected six first place finishers and 9 honorable mentions.
NJHMFA's Newark Genesis Supportive Housing project, located in Newark, NJ has been recognized as an Honorable Mention project as part of the National Tax Credit Coalition's Tax Credit Excellence Award for Special Needs Housing. More...
HMFA Hosts Lender Product Seminar on June 8, 2010
 Commissioner Grifa Speaks at the Lender Product Seminar at HMFA
The NJHMFA hosted a Lender Product Seminar at our office, 637 S. Clinton Ave., Trenton, NJ 08611 on Tuesday, June 8, 2010 at 10:00 a.m.

In addition to our knowledgeable HMFA staff, the newly confirmed Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Lori Grifa attended and spoke, along with Richard Mroz, member of the Board of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, which serves member financial institutions in New Jersey; and Joe Sheridan, past president of the Mortgage Bankers Association of New Jersey and current member of the New Jersey Lenders Licensing Advisory Board.
This seminar was targeted for Loan Originations Staff (Sales Managers, Loan Originators, Loan Originator Assistants, etc.) and covered the following topics:

  • Overview of First-Time Homebuyer Programs
  • Smart Start
  • Live Where You Work
  • Overview of the critical changes to underwriting guidelines
  • Question and Answer Period
Check out photos from the event here: Lender Product Seminar Photos 
Also, on March 2-3, 2010, HMFA Hosted a Two-Day Lender Product and Loan Process Review Seminar event, inviting professionals in the mortgage and real estate fields. Attendees came from all over the state of New Jersey.

HMFA regularly holds these free educational events at our facility. Keep checking our email updates for information about upcoming educational events! 
Berry Street Commons Confirmed as First LEED Platinum Building in the State of New Jersey

Berry Street CommonsIn the summer of 2008, the DCA and HMFA broke ground on Berry Street Commons,  a 94-unit affordable housing complex at 42-44 Berry Street, located in the Churchill-Millstone redevelopment area of Franklin Township, Somerset County, New Jersey. Berry Street Commons was one of the first phases of a large multi-stage housing development in the area, with the DCA and HMFA providing $23.8 million in financing including Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

Now complete and totally occupied, the Berry Street Commons has been confirmed as the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certified affordable housing project in New Jersey because of its energy-efficient design, which uses sustainable construction materials in accordance with the EPA Energy-Star Program requirements. This is the highest attainable LEED certification level that the U.S. Green Building Council offers. More...

2010 NJ Governor's Conference for WomenNew Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lori Grifa welcomed women from around the state to the 2010 NJ Governor's Conference for Women at the Atlantic City Convention Center on Tuesday, May 4. Keynote speakers included Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling novelist Anna Quindlen and Emmy Award-winning Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts. Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno also addressed conference attendees.

"Women from across the state come to the NJ Governor's Conference for Women to learn, network and get inspired to do great things in their families, communities and workplaces," said Commissioner Grifa. "I am proud that the DCA can be part of such an important event." More...
Seven New Towns Added to Live Where You Work Program

The HMFA is proud to partner with 32 municipalities across the state in the "Live Where You Work Program" (LWYW), with Freehold, Pemberton, Gloucester City, Voorhees, Manchester, Lakewood, and East Orange being the latest municipalities to join.

LWYW is a special homebuyer workforce incentive program for people who wish to buy a home in the town where they work. LWYW provides low-interest, fixed rate mortgage loans, downpayment and closing cost assistance, and flexible underwriting criteria for the loan qualification process to qualified buyers.

The Live Where You Work program strives to revitalize and build sustainable communities that will provide a greener environment, access to alternative transportation and affordable housing opportunities for residents.

Live Where You Work received the 2009 President's Award for Innovation from the Council of State Community Development Agencies, a national association that supports state efforts in community development, affordable housing, local economic development and state-local relations. The award recognizes innovative activities, policies or programs that have been implemented at the state level and have demonstrated success in solving community needs.
The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) is leading the way through innovative programs that are building effective relationships with developers, corporations, non-profits and for-profits to produce more affordable housing. HMFA puts people first by financing single family and multi-family rental housing and encouraging mixed use developments. These initiatives promote sustainable development that protects open space, curbs sprawl and improves regional transportation.

We are dedicated to making investments in communities across New Jersey and building neighborhoods where people want to raise families and build businesses. Part of that vision means providing people of all walks of life with access to safe, clean and affordable housing options. Thanks to the efforts of the HMFA, we are creating homes for our state's families.
Marge Della Vecchia
Executive Director
"Homefront" is produced and distributed by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. HMFA creates and implements programs to advance the rehabilitation, construction, preservation and financing of affordable housing for the State's residents, lenders, developers and contractors. HMFA is the state administrator for federal housing assistance programs and works in cooperation with State, municipal and non-profit agencies. HMFA secures program funding and operating expenses through the sale of taxable and tax-exempt bonds to private sector investors and is not dependent upon funding from the State Treasury.
No State tax dollars were used to design and produce this newsletter.