Lua Homes at 3rd Avenue

"I can’t express how happy I am to have a safe home for my kids. To not have to fear if we’ll be homeless – no longer do I have to choose between paying my rent and putting food on the table.”

Newark, New Jersey – 8th Congressional District

The new homes consist of two, three-bedroom apartments with nine-foot ceilings, an open floor plan, stainless steel appliances, and hardwood floors throughout. The new residences serve families who earn less than 30% of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) average median income and are unhoused due to domestic violence. Each unit is equipped with amenities such as central heating and cooling, modern kitchens with granite countertop and energy efficiency appliances. The first-floor apartment has 2.5 ceramic-tiled bathrooms, and the second-floor apartment has two ceramic-tiled bathrooms. Both apartments are fully furnished with essential furniture and linens.

DCA contributes Project-Based Section-8 Vouchers to NHTF units to provide rental assistance to extremely low-income families that will occupy the apartments. The Safe House continues to provide services to these families after they relocate to apartments and for as long as services are required.

Construction began roughly around December 2020 and ended around December 2021. The project was placed in service on January 31, 2022.

Prior to the development of the property, the site was a vacant lot in the City of Newark in the Mount Pleasant/Lower Broadway neighborhood. As many know, the Mt. Pleasant/Lower Broadway neighborhood has gone through amazing change and growth in the last 10 years.

As noted above, the site has been vacant since 1984. Revitalizing the property with affordable housing, brings the site back to a contributing use and improvement for the neighborhood and the city. The additional population (within the Newark City population of 280,000) can easily be supported by local community services, including but not limited to, social services, educational, hospital/healthcare, public safety/emergency medical, fire protection, employment, recreation, public safety and open space. The redevelopment of the site will not result in an impact to demographics and employment patterns to the local community – but rather embrace a very much needed housing type, where residents now have easy access to services, jobs and entertainment. The jobs created are mostly construction-related jobs, as well as additional service jobs. Also, the redevelopment of the site provides a residence for two new families and did not result in the displacement of individuals – an important aspect of neighborhood preservation.

The Mount Pleasant/Lower Broadway neighborhood is an old neighborhood that, like Newark itself, has suffered from the white flight and the disinvestment of the 70’s and 80’s and it is now coming back strong. It is considered one of Newark’s most diverse neighborhoods with a population of approximately 7,600 persons – of which 75% are Hispanic (of multiple national origins), 18% African American, 5% White and 4% Asian. It is a lively and vibrant neighborhood with 58% of the population being younger than 45. the Mount Pleasant/Lower Broadway neighborhood is considered the 4th most walkable neighborhood of the City with easy access to public transportation by bus, mass transit rail and light rail. The Newark Broad Street rail station is a short walk (1 mile) from the project which puts the jobs, culture and entertainment of New York City within a 20-minute commute. The Newark Light Rail also provides accessible connectivity to Newark Penn Station – providing additional regional and global connections to Amtrak and the Newark International Airport.

This development is in conformance with the Newark’s River – Public Access & Redevelopment Plan, which underwent extensive public input in 2013. The plan introduced new residential and retail uses, allowing the neighborhood to grow towards the river, preserving existing light industry, and requiring public access to accompany redevelopment. Much of this plan has been evidenced by recent and transformational redevelopment projects in the immediate vicinity of the LUA project.

The project is Energy Star Certified, including Energy Star appliances, meets HUD CPD Green Building Retrofit Checklist requirements (even with new construction) and is served by a roof-mounted solar energy system to offset tenant utility costs.

Permanent Supportive Housing is a long-term, service-rich housing model for supporting individuals with complex needs, including victims of domestic violence. It provides for affordability, safety and comfort, flexible and accessible support services and empowerment and independence. Such housing models, like that of LUA Homes at 3rd Avenue, can have transformational impacts to victims of domestic violence and their children. Providing safe, affordable, quality housing for these families has immediate and multi-generational impacts to their families.

The Safe House provides shelter in a safe and supportive environment for families in crisis and provides the help, education, advocacy & guidance needed to empower women to live safe and productive lives. The Safe House program also provides counseling, case management, legal advocacy, a comprehensive children’s program, food, clothing, personal necessities, transportation, financial assistance through welfare, housing advocacy, parenting classes, support groups, medical care, a pre-school program, a summer day camp, immigration referrals and linkage to an extensive number of community services on an as needed basis. Non-residential counseling is also provided. Bi-Lingual staff is available (Spanish) and we have access to the Language Line if needed.

Housing Trust Fund: $700,000
New Jersey Community Capital: $130,200

The foundation of decent, safe, high-quality affordable housing is a knowledgeable development team. That paired with support from the City of Newark, private lenders (NJCC) and the State (NJDCA), the project was completed in a timely manner. These partnerships include:

NJDCA – Housing Production Unit, Project Funder (National Housing Trust Fund)
New Jersey Community Capital (CDFI), Project Funder (Private Financing)
Maria Yglesias, LUA Homes, LLP, Project Developer
Maria Del Mar Lopez, LUA Homes, LLP, Project Developer
Rocco DiPola, Esq., Rocco DiPola Attorney At Law, Project Attorney
Charles Fallon, Fallon & Company, Project Accountant
Joaquin Bouzas, AIA, Inglese Architecture & Engineering, Project Architect
Chris Yglesias, M&M Development, Project Builder/Contractor
Loreto Salinas, Hesta Management, Project Management
Sue Scioscia, RWJBH Safe House – Essex County, Project Service Provider

Lorissa Luciani, PP, AICP, Administrator – Housing Production
New Jersey Department of Community Development (NJDCA)
(609) 815-3930
[email protected]

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