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JERSEY CITY, NJ-Ground was broken this week for the Harriet Tubman Townhouses, an eight-unit affordable housing complex on Martin Luther King Jr. The developer is Eagle Rock Development LLC of West Paterson, NJ, and the complex is the first to be built in this city under the New Jersey Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency’s “Choice” affordable housing program.

“October was National Affordable Housing Month, so it was a great time to break ground,” says Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy. “This development will give the people of Jersey City, working class people, an opportunity to get their piece of the American dream.”

“This development is also important because it meets and goes beyond the standards of the Energy Star program,” says Joseph Doria, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. “What’s more, under the Choice program, which has a focus on home ownership, buyers who resell their homes will receive 75% of the profits. The remaining 25% goes to new affordable housing.”

The project, named for the former slave and 19th-centurty abolitionist, will be made up of two-story brick townhomes. Their construction is multi-layered, with up to 50% of the approved construction financing made available by the Njhmfa, and the rest from a co-first lead lender. Below-market permanent end-loan mortgages from Njhmfa’s Home Buyers and Choice’s financing programs are available to eligible first-time homebuyers.

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