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72 Unit Affordable Housing Complex to be Built in Toms River

'Very low income' restricted units to be marketed toward the disabled, general population

The site of a planned affordable housing complex in Toms River. (Photo: Google Maps)
The site of a planned affordable housing complex in Toms River. (Photo: Google Maps)
Officials announced this week that federal funding would be allotted toward a 72-unit affordable housing complex that is being planned for a plot of land off Massachusetts Avenue.

Freedom Village at Toms River has been approved by the township's planning board and will be built on 10 acres of land at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and West Hickory Street, township officials confirmed to Patch.

The development will be a rental community consisting of six two-story buildings containing one, two and three bedroom apartments, according to Project Freedom, the developer. There will be 14 one bedroom, 40 two bedroom, and 18 three bedroom units, all of which will be wheelchair accessible.

The project will go toward bringing down Toms River's affordable housing quota under the state's so-called Mount Laurel doctrine, a state Supreme Court decision that affirms a person's right to affordable housing.

The units "will be marketed to persons who are disabled, as well as to the general population," Project Freedom said in a memo issued recently.

In the memo, Project Freedom said it will work with the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities and the Division of Mental Health as well as various supportive housing agencies to identify clients who are in need of the housing, likely in the two and three bedroom units.

The one-bedroom units are deed restricted for persons earning 60 percent or less of the Toms River area's median income – known as "very low income" housing under federal standards.

Because of the federal funding involved in the project, Project Freedom will be legally required to affirmatively market the units, however the developer expects that, because of the lack of handicap accessible housing in the area, most units will be rented by people who are disabled. Still, any eligible family that meets the income requirements could potentially live in the complex.

On Wednesday, Congressman Jon Runyan's (R-3) office announced a $442,500 grant to Project Freedom to go toward the project, with additional financing coming from the National Equity Fund, Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, the New Jersey Mortgage and Housing Finance Agency Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing, the Sandy Special Needs Housing Fund Community Development Block Grant Program, TD Bank, and Toms River Affordable Housing funds.

“Although the economy has shown some signs of improvement, I know that people in South Jersey are still struggling,” said Runyan in a statement. “Federal affordable housing programs play a critical role in helping families get back on their feet. The Affordable Housing Program has been very successful in supporting housing initiatives across New Jersey, and I applaud the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York and Investors Bank for their decision to invest in much-needed affordable rental housing in Toms River.”
JFTR January 16, 2014 at 01:45 PM
Let the hateful comments about keeping "those people" out of town begin....
suz January 16, 2014 at 02:11 PM
Don't have a problem with the disabled, but the fact that low income housing just brings along all sorts of baggage is a fact. Also, we all know the "scammers" when it comes to the disabled truly being disabled, don't we?
knarfie January 16, 2014 at 02:37 PM
suz, like it or not, low income housing brings nothing but trouble to the area. Look at Brick. If you tell it like it is, you are a bad person, it seems..
bayway mike January 16, 2014 at 03:05 PM
It will be interesting to see who qualifies as disabled.. Or might it become Winteringham II..
Miranda Denton January 16, 2014 at 03:55 PM
My son is disabled and it is very hard to find accesible places to live for him.so im excited maybe hi wheelchair and other equipment could actually fit down the hallway....and I guess the rest odf you that have commented above are rich assholes who don't like people who are low income because they have ill children and no job keeps a mom with an ILL child...trust me...KNOW BEFORE YOU JUDGE ALL LOW INCOME PEOPLE!
Project Bluebeam January 16, 2014 at 04:26 PM
Winteringam Village, Jamestown Apartments, Hopes Crossing, now this. Soon we'll be #1 in heroin abuse instead of #8. Help the disabled and our vets before the illegals and white trash.
MariaF January 16, 2014 at 04:33 PM
I don't consider myself to be "baggage" and definitely not a scammer. I happen to be a single mother who has a low income. Not everyone of low income is a low-life. My friend has lived in affordable housing for about 20 years and he and his neighbors are not low-lifes either. I understand, low income can attract such people but please don't lump all low income people together.
Mac January 16, 2014 at 04:45 PM
the only real difference between low income and high income is the amount of income the attorney can earn
BN January 16, 2014 at 05:04 PM
At least rich heroin addicts don't fornicate on the neighbor's lawn or toss their beer bottles in the street.
Mac January 16, 2014 at 05:22 PM
@BN - personally, I wouldn't bet real money on your last comment, but I would gladly bank the bet
knarfie January 16, 2014 at 05:37 PM
Miranda and Marie, if only people in your situation moved in it would be fine. No one can deny the other element that comes in ruins it for deserving people like you.
Av January 16, 2014 at 08:04 PM
Riggers?
HR January 17, 2014 at 07:00 AM
I'm now truly convinced that this town is run by a bunch of idiots. If this is not proof that it's all about who can line their pockets I don't know what is. Putting low income housing in that part of town you're just asking for trouble. Are you going to lower all the property taxes for all those million dollar homes in that area since the value of their home will not go down? Everybody who lives off of Hickory Street I would absolutely fight your property taxes. If this town and their officials are all about the bottom line and who's can align their pockets hit them where it hurts and fight your property taxes.
Gerard L January 17, 2014 at 07:41 AM
I find it amazing , 15 months after sandy , with people still without homes to live in , and a portion of the town ,still in shambles our political leaders are all to willing to somehow find the funds to build affordable housing . I guess that photo opp and press report has run its course , guess well have to wait until the burners are turned up , in fort lee for the next bus tour to come to town and once again acknowledge that hard working tax payers are still without homes , until then get the flash bulbs ready , and say cheese !
Gerard L January 17, 2014 at 07:43 AM
IN GREED WE TRUST !
Deacon_T January 17, 2014 at 09:26 AM
Congratulations to everyone who had a part in making this happen. We are all God's family and everyone deserves a decent place to live. It's an issue of justice and Toms River is beginning to make it happen.
Gerard L January 17, 2014 at 09:57 AM
Well said Deacon -T And please fell free to comment the next time a child has overdosed from from the scourge that has come to our once decent place to call home . Or the next car jacking .
Livingston Dell January 17, 2014 at 10:49 AM
It will fit in well with the crime from Hopeless Crossing, Unfriendly Village and Galaxy trailor park. time to move.
bob January 17, 2014 at 11:06 AM
This is a start, but Toms River needs a lot more affordable housing. With more affordable housing people from other towns will want to move here and make Toms River home.
Gerard L January 17, 2014 at 11:33 AM
Bob , where have you been ? people from other towns have already started moving to Toms River , so they can call it home for quite some time now , from other towns. like Newark, Camden , Irvington , Atlantic City just to name a few . That's the reason Toms River has become just like Mayberry RFD . Time to go see Floyd the barber , get a shave , and some Heroin .
bob January 17, 2014 at 11:44 AM
Glad to hear people are moving to Toms River, diversity is what makes Toms River the great town that it is.
Hardieharr January 17, 2014 at 12:18 PM
I bet most to all of you were not born here and came from north jersey or Staten Island. Please move back and take your children who were born here back with you. This was a safe fun town till the city dwellers came here in the 80's and destroyed it. yes you you know who you are and caused my taxes to go up because of the increased need for services!
Project Bluebeam January 17, 2014 at 03:10 PM
Bob, love your sarcasm. Unfortunately, most readers think you're serious.
bob January 17, 2014 at 03:20 PM
PB&J, spot on.
grace January 17, 2014 at 05:33 PM
i hope it will be for the real people who need it..i know of a young girl who rented one in brick then boyfriend moved in and believe me they were no way low income..just managed to get in..so i am hoping for a good background check even if it takes some time and determination..i do believe that all low income arent dirt bags...this is why i say really check the applicants..
suz January 17, 2014 at 05:50 PM
Well Grace, that probably won't happen because some know how to beat the system. They just lie.
mike mc January 18, 2014 at 09:31 PM
who is going to verify how many individuals occupy the place AFTER the original application is approved ?? mom moves in with children as low income, then invites boyfriend to join her 3 days later !!
Irina January 22, 2014 at 07:22 PM
Another druggie filled ghetto apartments in Toms River, just what we need. I hope they build them in Deacon_T 's back yard.
Blondie February 07, 2014 at 02:45 PM
Wow, it's nice to see all you people who live in glass houses!
bob February 07, 2014 at 02:50 PM
Blondie, take a trip over to Hopeless Crossing, but don't go at night.

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