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TRENTON-Acting Gov. Donald DiFrancesco yesterday announced a total of $150 million in state funding designed to create both ownership and rental housing opportunities at all income levels. The money will be split between two different initiatives that will be overseen by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.

“All residents deserve to live in a home that they can afford,” DiFrancesco said in announcing the initiatives. “These funds will help build new housing in our cities and create rental apartments that will be available to people of all incomes.”

About $110 million of the total will come from proceeds from the sale of taxable and tax-exempt bonds. HMFA has been directed through the state initiative to fund 15 multifamily projects in 14 different communities. The resulting 1,900 new units of affordable housing will be designated for families and senior citizens.

The state will also set aside $10 million in subsidies for Phase X of HMFA’s Urban Home Ownership Recovery Program. The money will be combined with construction financing to develop up to 400 units of new for-sale housing for families of all income levels. To date, UHORP has invested more than $114 million to build over 2,200 homeownership units in 22 urban areas. Applications for Phase X are expected to be available on October 5.

Also, $15 million will provide seed money for the new HMFA Smart Living program, which is designed to promote urban redevelopment through construction of market-rate rental housing. The program will provide second mortgage loans to fund gaps between project costs and other financing. The loans will be overlaid on the agency’s first mortgage financing.

“The Smart Living program was designed to promote urban redevelopment by creating market-rate rental housing and by creating communities comprised of people of all income levels,” according to Jane M. Kenny, commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs.

Finally, the Housing Investment Trust Fund will provide an ongoing source of capital for low-income residents. The initial $15 million program under HMFA’s Housing Investment Trust will provide low-interest, flexible secondary mortgage loans on a statewide basis. It will provide financing of up to $20,000 per unit, or $2 million per housing project.

“HMFA offers a number of financing options to developers of affordable housing,” concludes Deborah De Santis, the agency’s executive director. “The Housing Investment Trust Fund allows us to fill in any financing gaps that would prevent a worthwhile project from coming to fruition.”

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