Weehawken officials cut the ribbon Wednesday on a newly refurbished nine-unit apartment complex that is slated for affordable housing for senior citizens or the disabled. They also continued work on an adjacent complex that will provide 12 more units for seniors or disabled residents who fit the financial guidelines.
The new units are part of an effort made by the Weehawken Senior Citizen Housing Corporation, a township-sponsored non-profit organization that was designed to try to find more affordable housing for senior citizens and the permanently disabled on fixed incomes.
Through the help of the township, the Senior Citizen Housing Corporation was able to purchase two existing buildings, located at 3200-02 Pleasant Ave. and 3206-08 Pleasant, right near the intersection of Pleasant and Hackensack Plank Road.
The WSCHC was then able to secure funding from five different governmental sources (state and federal) to thoroughly refurbish the existing buildings and turn them into attractive low-and-fixed income affordable housing units.
The first restored building came at a cost of $1 million and should be able to welcome its new residents by sometime next week.
The second building is still undergoing renovations and should be ready for occupancy some time in 2003.
The new facility features nine one-bedroom units, complete with a kitchen/dining room and a living room area.
It marks the first new affordable housing complex to be built in Weehawken since 2-4 Potter Place was opened for residents five years ago.
"We have a changing population and Weehawken is a very expensive place to live," said Mayor Richard Turner. "With rent control and affordable housing, we're able to help people remain in a very expensive market. It's not easy creating affordable housing in Weehawken."
Turner said that the two buildings were eyesores to the neighborhood.
"The buildings were in terrible shape, in disrepair and deteriorating," Turner said. "They had become targets for slum lords. The best way to deal with this problem is to have the Senior Citizen Housing Corporation purchase the buildings and fix them up. Then, they become an asset to the neighborhood and the community. It provides housing for those who truly need it."
Turner said that the new residents would have to fit under the financial guidelines established in order to reside there.
The maximum income target is between $16,900 and $19,950. The rents should run around $400 per month, plus utilities, but the rents may vary depending upon each person's income.
Turner credited the work of the WSCHC, spearheaded by Housing Authority chairman Dominic Facchini.
"They did a great job of coordinating the entire project," Turner said. "It's an improvement to the entire neighborhood. The apartments are very attractive and modern. I think our residents will be happy, especially the ones moving in there."
The homes will go to people who have already applied to the WSCHC.