The Palisades Emergency Residence Corporation, which houses approximately 40 homeless persons every night in Union City, has begun construction of eight studio apartments at its building on 36th Street.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held at a meeting two weeks ago that included guests from the PERC board of trustees, representatives of the United Way, and county officials.
“The county, along with NJ housing and mortgage, has made a pledge to end chronic homelessness within the next 10 years. The entire city of Union City should be applauded for being a great partner to work with,” said Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise.
“The county, along with NJ housing and mortgage, has made a pledge to end chronic homelessness within the next 10 years.” – Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise
$35,000 of Hudson County’s community development funds enabled the organization to plan the project. Mearns pointed out that overall, the county has provided approximately $600,000 for area homeless relief efforts. Mearns then added that no federal stimulus funds were used for this project.
Instead, those funds have been allocated to another housing project on the West New York and Union City border. In fact, the building will have addresses in both Union City and West New York. That project is a building called Horizon Heights that will house 52, one, two, and three-bedroom units for low-income and disabled people.
Gustavo Taborda is the owner of Taborda Construction, the contracting company that will convert a dilapidated third floor area of the building into two units of permanent housing. Six more units, an elevator, and a lobby will also be constructed.
Taborda said he is proud to work on a project like this.
“It’s one of the largest the company has done,” said Taborda, estimating the total cost to be close to $1 million. “It will take seven months of work.”
The plan is to make a small lobby on the first floor and an addition to the second floor for two studio units and elevator. The elevator can take people to the third floor, where an additional six studio units will be constructed.
“At this moment, this is an old building, but it’s already undergone two renovations. The only thing left is to renovate this floor and make the addition,” said Taborda.
Taborda’s company had also worked with PERC just two years ago for the construction of a two-family emergency shelter area nearby.
PERC is one of three homeless shelters in Hudson County. Jersey City has St. Lucy’s shelter, and Hoboken has the Hoboken Homeless Shelter.
Officials said they are not sure yet how the units will be given out.
For more information on PERC, call (201) 348-8150.
Melissa Rappaport may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org