The E’Port Family Homes in Elizabeth is officially open.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the completion and opening took place on Tuesday in partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth, Genesis Cos., New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Located at 160 First St. and 200 Third St., the community is the result of a joint venture between HACE and Genesis Cos.
The project was financed with approximately $13 million from the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program, $900,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank and $3.55 million in debt financing from Citigroup.
HACE is responsible for more than 1,350 units of public housing and delivers a broad range of services ranging from social, economic, educational and redevelopment across the city of Elizabeth. Genesis Cos. is a full-service real estate development firm that specializes in financing, developing and operating mixed-income and mixed-use residential projects.
“We’ve been working in this neighborhood since the year 1998,” William Jones, executive director of HACE said. “E’Port Family Homes is a brand new, state-of-the-art apartment building near the city’s bustling port community. This initiative continues our commitment to the revitalization of this neighborhood. We thank all of our partners, Genesis Cos. and the city of Elizabeth, in helping to bring this project to fruition.”
The $18 million project was completed in late September and features two new four-story elevator buildings. Fifteen units have been set aside for the formerly homeless, and supportive services will be provided by HACE and Bridgeway Behavioral Health Services.
Each building has a combination of one- and two-bedroom apartments, with 15 project-based vouchers to be distributed across both sites to be administered by HACE and the state Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services. All of the units are affordable and set at 60% of the area median income or below. Building amenities for all residents include parking and a community room.
The project is also built to Enterprise Green Communities standards for sustainability. Residents at E’Port Family Homes will be part of an initiative that results in investments to address climate change and prioritizes the health and well-being of every household.
“Not only does this new development once again improve the city’s oldest neighborhood, but it also supports Elizabeth’s Go Green efforts, leading our residents to a more healthy, efficient and environmentally-friendly life,” Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage said. “I have been excited about this project’s completion and would like to thank the Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth, Genesis Cos. and all of our partners involved in this project.”
“If a person cannot think about anything else besides where they live or where they put their head down at night, then they can’t thrive. There is no opportunity for financial freedom or for all the other things that we enjoy in life if you have to worry about affordable housing,” said Nicole Lockett, managing director of development at Genesis Cos. “It was HACE’s perseverance that allowed us to get this project completed. These new homes are not just a triumph for Genesis, but a triumph for the City of Elizabeth, the Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth and, more importantly, the residents of this community.”
“The Elizabeth Housing Authority, to me, is the No. 1 housing authority,” shared Wynona Ancrum, chairwoman and resident commissioner of the HACE board of directors. “I’m proud of being part of the Elizabeth Housing Authority, I’m proud of all of the staff in the Elizabeth Housing Authority, and my residents, because we do have great residents that live in public housing.”