Respond, Inc. teamed up with MBI Development Company, Inc. and BCM Affordable Housing to develop the Meadows. The Meadows is an affordable supportive housing rental development located in North Camden along Erie Street and bound by Fourth, Fifth and Byron Streets in the City of Camden, Camden County, NJ. This supportive housing project services the formerly homeless/disabled veteran population and of what will hopefully be a robust redevelopment of the North Camden neighborhood. Not only does the Meadows meet the important needs of an underserved population, it serves as a catalyst for urban revitalization in North Camden.
The Meadows is situated on a landscaped 1.5+/- acre tract that has been subdivided from what was previously the Knox Gelatin 24 acre Brownfield. The land was owned by the City of Camden who sold the site to Respond, Inc. for the appraised value. Within a short distance of the site is the center of Camden, which provides various amenities, including drug stores, restaurants, food stores and the like. Additionally within a short walk of the building are many churches of differing denominations. The site is within a short distance of Interstate 676, Rutgers’ Camden Campus and the Ben Franklin Bridge.
The construction of the Meadows began in the spring of 2011 and was completed within 10 months. The plan called for 40 one and two-bedroom LIHTC apartments within a three story mid-rise building along with 20 off street parking spaces, an abundance of storage and a social service suite. The building also contains: the leasing/management office, maintenance shop, laundry facilities, arts and crafts room, community garden and a furnished two story community room with a warming kitchen for events and functions held at the site.
Incomes of the residents will be restricted to those who earn no more than 60% of the Camden County median. The current market conditions in North Camden for new affordable housing is quite limited. The existing housing stock consists of older deteriorated row-homes and a number of family apartment complexes that suffer from a great deal of deferred maintenance. The Meadows provides much needed new affordable rental housing to the area’s very low income population. What’s more, the Meadows provides safe, affordable permanent housing to the very underserved special needs population of the formerly homeless/disabled veterans.
The building is three stories in height and is serviced by one elevator, with a façade of brick and cementitious siding. The roofing material is a combination of metal and dimensional-three asphalt shingle. The interiors of all 40 of the residences feature wooden base boards, mini-blinds, oversized windows, masonite six panel doors, vinyl composite tile in the kitchen and foyer, ceramic tile baths, bamboo floors in the living rooms and wall-to-wall carpeting throughout the remainder, air conditioning and gas fired HVAC systems and grab bars. Kitchen amenities include a full appliance package including a dishwasher and a garbage disposal. The ten units designated as supportive housing units will also be fully furnished and have microwave ovens.
Financing for this important project has been be provided through a combination of equity from the syndication of Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, a grant from the Social Service Trust Fund, a 10 unit SRAP contract with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to provide rental subsidy for the special needs residences, NSP Funding from the City of Camden, a grant from the FHLB of NY and a construction loan from Bank of America.