Community Housing Capital, Part of a Group of Nonprofit, Affordable-Housing Organizations, Honored with the New Jersey Future 2016 Smart Growth Award

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Awarded the New Jersey Furture 2016 Smart Growth Award for the design, conversion and financing of the F. Berg Hat Factory Complex into 32 for-sale residential loft condos and ten commercial/artist studio condos to revitalize Orange, NJ while making sure current residents can afford to remain in the community.

The F. Berg Hat Factory Complex before conversion into for-sale housing.

The F. Berg Hat Factory Complex before conversion into for-sale housing.

“Central to the vision for Orange, New Jersey’s renaissance is making sure current residents can afford to stay here,” said Patrick Morrissy, Exec.Dir. of HANDS, “…it will be a beautiful city, but not at the expense of those who already live here.”

Community Housing Capital (CHC) is proud to announce its inclusion as one of the 2016 Smart Growth Award recipients. Since 2002, New Jersey Future has honored smart planning and development with an annual event to honor the organizations and projects that help strengthen New Jersey’s economic, social and environmental future. After having met an extremely competitive evaluation process, the F. Berg Hat Factory Complex, in Orange, New Jersey was chosen for is transformation from an abandoned factory into commercial, artist space, and affordable condominiums anchoring the Valley Arts District.

The design and conversion of the F. Berg Hat Factory Complex into for-sale housing was achieved by the award’s co-recipients, Housing and Neighborhood Development Services (HANDS) and the Community Asset Preservation Corporation (CAPC). The $5.5 million acquisition/construction loan was co-financed by award recipients, Community Housing Capital (as lead lender) and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA). The financing will help develop 32 for-sale residential loft condos and ten commercial/artist studio condominiums, using a New Jersey Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit subsidy to create these affordably-priced units in this low- and moderate-income neighborhood. A key benefit of the neighborhood is the Highland Train Station, which provides NJ Transit rail service to Newark, Hoboken, Lower Manhattan along with Midtown Direct service to Penn Station in Manhattan.

The purpose is to build a homeownership market where previously there was little investment in homeownership and to create a new and revitalized neighborhood for the people who live there. “Central to the vision for Orange, New Jersey’s renaissance is making sure current residents can afford to remain in the community,” said Patrick Morrissy, founder and executive director of HANDS, “…it will be a beautiful city, but not at the expense of those who already live here.”

HANDS, in partnership with CAPC, is helping Orange, New Jersey to re-invent itself by attracting public and private investment, redeveloping vacant buildings, and helping a thriving arts district be a place where people want to visit and live. “The F. Berg Hat Factory property was a complex undertaking with multiple layers of financing along with a grant subsidy capital structure that CHC specializes in as part of our mission to support projects that will preserve or create affordable housing,” said Jack Gilbert, president and chief executive officer, Community Housing Capital.

“Being part of a team that is working every day to breathe new life into our deteriorating neighborhoods is important to CAPC and we are very grateful to be recognized with New Jersey Future’s 2015 Smart Growth Award,” said Jeffrey Crum, director of real estate. “We have come to rely on CHC and NJHMFA to understand the big picture and the value that our success brings to our community.”

About Community Housing Capital
Community Housing Capital, a national Community Development Financial Institution intermediary, serves exclusively as a direct lender to the NeighborWorks® network. Incorporated in 2000, Community Housing Capital is certified as a community development financial institution and a community development entity by the U.S. Treasury’s CDFI Fund. Lending to members of the NeighborWorks network, Community Housing Capital provides both interim real estate development loans and permanent multifamily loans with favorable rates and terms. Loans are underwritten with the flexibility required to finance complex transactions with multiple layers of subsidies. To implement its loan programs, Community Housing Capital uses grant funds provided by NeighborWorks America and the CDFI Fund to significantly leverage private-sector debt capital from socially responsible investors. Community Housing Capital is headquartered in Decatur, Georgia. For more information, visit http://www.communityhousingcapital.org.

About New Jersey Future
New Jersey Future is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that brings together concerned citizens and leaders to promote responsible land-use policies. The organization employs original research, analysis and advocacy to build coalitions and drive land-use policies that help revitalize cities and towns, protect natural lands and farms, provide more transportation choices beyond cars, expand access to safe and affordable neighborhoods and fuel a prosperous economy.

New Jersey Future was founded in 1987 by senior corporate, civic and environmental leaders to advance smarter land-use and growth policies. Today, our nonprofit nonpartisan organization offers a strong voice on policies for curbing sprawl and spurring community redevelopment. New Jersey Future members include citizens, corporations, and foundations. Our policy work is directed by our Board of Trustees, including several founding members. Our staff is headed by Peter Kasabach. New Jersey Future is a member of Smart Growth America, a national coalition of state and regional smart growth organizations.

About Housing and Neighborhood Development Services (HANDS)
Since 1986, HANDS, Inc. has implemented a neighborhood revitalization effort in the neighboring cities of Orange and East Orange, New Jersey. By targeting the most pivotal problem properties for development, engaging citizens and other stakeholders and leveraging investments of time and funds, HANDS has stabilized neighborhoods and created long-term sustainable change. HANDS focuses on redeveloping vacant homes for affordable homeownership, adaptively reusing former industrial and commercial buildings as mixed-use developments, developing resident leaders and leading community visioning and comprehensive planning. As a nonprofit community development corporation, Housing and Neighborhood Development Services, Inc. (HANDS) is tax exempt under IRS 501(c)(3) and a chartered affiliate of NeighborWorks® America.

About Community Asset Preservation Corporation (CAPC)
Community Asset Preservation Corporation (CAPC) is a non-profit organization that acquires vacant and abandoned properties to stabilize and revitalize communities. Community Asset Preservation Corporation (CAPC) was formed in 2009 to acquire vacant and abandoned properties as a way of stabilizing and revitalizing communities hit hard by the foreclosure crisis. The concept was an outgrowth of efforts of local community development organizations to reclaim properties that had fallen into foreclosure as a result of the housing crisis. In 2010, CAPC became the wholly-owned real estate subsidiary of New Jersey Community Capital, New Jersey’s leading community development financial institution. NJCC provides innovative financing and technical assistance to foster the creation of quality homes, educational facilities, and employment opportunities in under-served communities in New Jersey.

Since inception, CAPC has purchased over 400 foreclosed or abandoned residential units in New Jersey primarily as scattered site one- to four-family homes. In 2012, CAPC expanded its work to include small multifamily and condominium projects that, once returned to active use, have a catalytic impact on distressed neighborhoods and communities throughout the state. These projects total approximately $22 million in development costs include three condominium projects in Newark, Orange, and Jersey City totaling 75 residential units, more than 10 commercial spaces, and three small multi-family residential properties. In aggregate, CAPC has been involved with the rehabilitation or development of over 480 residential units totaling nearly $65.6 million in total development costs.

About New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA)
The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) is dedicated to increasing the availability of and accessibility to safe, decent and affordable housing to families in New Jersey. In some cases, this may mean working with traditional affordable housing developments, serving New Jersey's most needy families. In other instances, it is working with First-Time Homebuyers, senior citizens, and/or the disabled in our special needs communities. In every situation HMFA is committed to make quality housing available at costs affordable to New Jersey residents.

HMFA recognizes that housing is developed within a community context. If we are to build strong quality houses we must also work to create healthy, safe and vibrant communities. It is clear that housing and families both influence and are influenced by the communities in which they reside. To this end HMFA works to insure that our investments leverage existing community resources and enhance market value and community well-being.

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