DMR Architects takes unique approaches to affordable housing needs in East Orange, Upper Saddle River

The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency board recently approved a Memorandum of Understanding to finalize $305 million from the American Rescue Plan funds for New Jersey’s Affordable Housing Production Fund.

While Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration has been crafting legislation to provide the necessary funding to create affordable housing, Hasbrouck Heights-based DMR Architects has worked with municipalities in New Jersey to design affordable housing solutions that become points of pride, including two projects that have recently opened: one with the East Orange Housing Authority and its partners and another in Upper Saddle River for the Bergen County Housing Development Corp.

In East Orange, DMR Architects recently celebrated the ribbon cutting for the Ted R. Green Halsted Plaza Senior Residences, a 60-unit building comprised of 52 one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom residences, with 15 units set aside and marketed to homeless persons and several units designed to accommodate the needs of residents with disabilities. It will also provide 1,750 square feet of community space, 1,400 square feet of outdoor resident space and 8,000 square feet of administrative offices.

“The affordable housing obligation is not to the state, but to the residents in each community, those who want to remain local, age in place or have other special needs,” Kurt Vierheilig, director of design and partner for DMR Architects, said. “Our projects respond to this commitment in a way that reflects each community, the architecture around them and welcomes the residents who will live there.”

Meanwhile, the Residences at Upper Saddle River is a 69-unit residential community for senior citizens and special needs households situated on an eight-acre site, adjacent to undisturbed wetlands. The design prioritizes gathering and interaction with a 1,600-square-foot living room with a central fireplace that opens to a covered porch; an adjacent open kitchen with a large island; and a 2,000-square-foot patio with a gazebo.