TINTON FALLS, NJ (September 12, 2020) – Federal, state, county and local officials today joined executives from WinnDevelopment and Soldier On, Inc., to celebrate the start of construction on a $23 million, 70-unit apartment community in Tinton, Falls, NJ, for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, including veterans transitioning from homelessness.
Soldier On, a non-profit organization serving homeless veterans since 1994, will provide residents at The Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Village with comprehensive services, including case management and wellness support, workforce assistance, benefits assessment and application assistance, legal services, transportation, telehealth, daily meals and many ancillary support programs.
“There are more than 400,000 veterans in New Jersey and thousands of them are disabled, homeless or in need of the support that will improve their quality of life. We’re pleased to partner with Soldier On, with the support of state and local officials, to deliver this much deserved assistance and bring this important project to life,” said WinnCompanies CEO Gilbert Winn. “Communities that combine high quality apartments with on-site expert services are a focus for our company and something that we expect to develop more of in the years ahead.”
The development will produce a four-story building with 70 one-bedroom apartments that will be available at a range of income levels –18 units will be available to individuals earning up to 30 percent of Area Median Income (AMI); 24 will be designated at 50 percent of AMI; 10 at 60 percent of AMI, and 18 at 80 percent AMI.
“We want to thank all of the many elected officials, and the many other supporting contributors in New Jersey who have made this possible. Soldier On will offer extensive services to the veterans living at the Tinton Falls property. A caring community will be created to offer not only the high-quality housing, but most importantly a supported environment of men and women who can offer support to one another,” said Soldier On CEO Bruce Buckley.
With preparations underway at the wooded 12-acre site donated by The Borough of Tinton Falls, federal, state, county and local officials gathered at Liberty Park in Tinton Falls to hear more about the project on Saturday.
“This development will give many veterans their first decent place to live and prosper in years with vital services that can have a life-changing impact,” said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, a Republican who serves New Jersey’s 4th Congressional District. “Because of federal, state and local public and private partnership, we are making progress – but there are 37,000 homeless vets on the street on any given night. That number remains unconscionable high. We have more to work to do.”
The $23 million project is supported by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA), which will provide construction and permanent financing from the Agency Revenue Bond Financing Program and a subsidy mortgage loan commitment from the NJHMFA’s Multifamily Rental Housing Production Fund; low-income housing tax credit equity provided by Bank of America; a subordinate mortgage from Federal Home Loan Bank New York Affordable Housing Program; HOME funds from Monmouth County, NJ; project-based rental assistance from the New Jersey Department of Housing Assistance; and, a deferred developer fee.
The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has awarded 18 Housing Choice Project-Based Vouchers to the project to assist homeless veterans.
“We have a moral obligation to take care of our soldiers when they complete their service to our country, some of whom will have lifelong mental and physical health challenges as a result. Providing them accessible, decent, safe and clean housing with the supportive services they require is one of the ways we can help ensure they live the quality of life they deserve,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of DCA. “This new apartment complex will provide New Jersey veterans and their families with a home in a community that understands and meets their unique needs. Governor Murphy and I are grateful to the public and private partners who have come together to move this project forward and we look forward to its completion.”
“I am very excited to see the start of construction on the Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Village in Tinton Falls,” said New Jersey State Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth). “As Chair of the Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I’m grateful for this apartment complex setting aside one-bedroom apartments for homeless veterans in our community. The transition from military service to civilian life can be very difficult, but the economic downturn caused by the public health crisis has made it even harder for our veterans to find jobs and put a roof over their family’s head. This apartment complex encompasses a token of our gratitude towards those who have served our great nation.”
Expected to be ready for occupancy by October 2021, the community is named for the late Gordon H. Mansfield, a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran who served as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, as well as Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equality Opportunity at the Department of Housing & Urban Development.
“When the prior Soldier On CEO Jack Downing and I started this effort a decade ago, there were people who doubted that we would ever get it done, but I never questioned it. There are just too many good people who will listen when a need like this is presented to them and do what they can to help,” said Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian Burry. “We reached across party lines and jurisdictional boundaries and found people happy to do their patriotic duty. I am proud to say that Soldier On is making a new home in Monmouth County.”
Amenities planned for the development include a community room, offices, mail area, common laundry, and an exterior courtyard with benches and grills.
“This project is a wonderful opportunity to thank our veterans, and it could not have come at a better time to help those during the global pandemic and an economic crisis,” said State Assemblywoman Joanne Downey (D-Monmouth). “The Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Village in Tinton Falls will provide safety and reassurance to veterans who find themselves struggling when they return home from their service. The comprehensive services provided will benefit our veterans’ overall wellbeing and allow us to give back to those who have sacrificed so much for the good of our country.”
“Congratulations on the groundbreaking of the Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Village,” said State Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “I’m proud to see that this apartment community will address the unique needs of homeless veterans and their children. These individuals have sacrificed so much, many serving on the front lines, and this complex makes sure they’re not at the end of the line when they seek housing and other supportive services.”
The development site is within walking distance of the Jersey Shore Premium Outlets, Walmart Supercenter, Twin Brook Golf Center and several restaurant chains. Public transportation in the immediate area is provided by New Jersey Transit, which offers both train and bus services.
“Affordable housing is essential in New Jersey. It is particularly critical for the military veterans in our community who have served our country,” said NJHMFA Executive Director Charles Richman. “In this current economic climate, the HMFA is happy to be able to provide the capital financing that will enable the development of this project, which will help some of our veterans move into safe, affordable housing befitting their service.”
“It is a privilege and honor to dedicate this project for our veterans. As a proud World War II veteran, I am gratified that Tinton Falls and its residents are helping to provide housing for my fellow veterans in need. Our town’s donation of this 12-acre property honors their service to our country,” said Tinton Falls Mayor Vito Perillo.
The project will be the Soldier On’s seventh housing facility for veterans and its first-ever supportive services housing development In New Jersey, where it already manages several programs for veterans. The non-profit also works with veteran communities in Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania.
“This project reflects the commitment of the Soldier On staff, on the ground in New Jersey and throughout the organization to serve veterans who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. Soldier On has been addressing the needs of the at-risk veterans in New Jersey through its VA-sponsored programming by providing a vast array of services. These services include providing access to quality housing via rental and security deposit assistance, negotiating with landlords, transportation, accessing benefits and services and many other supporting programs,” Buckley said.
V.J. Scozzari & Sons, Inc., of Pennington, NJ, will serve as the general contractor; PS&S Architecture & Engineering, of Cherry Hill, NJ, will serve as the architect and civil engineer; Gibbons P.C. will serve as local counsel.
“WinnDevelopment, with our partners at Soldier On, are proud to break ground on these critically needed affordable housing units in the Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Village model,” said WinnDevelopment Vice President David Ginsberg. “This project represents WinnDevelopment’s first new construction effort in New Jersey, adding to its growing portfolio of multifamily housing developments in the state. The fantastic Tinton Falls site will be highlighted by a high-efficiency building, with many common amenity spaces and outdoor gathering areas. These design features, coupled with access to on-site case management, transportation to public services, and proximity to abundant retail opportunity, will foster a high quality of life for the veteran men and women who will call this Tinton Falls Veterans Village home.”
Earlier this year, WinnDevelopment completed The Residences at Brighton Marine, a mixed-income community in Boston that provides 102 units housing and supportive services for veterans. Soldier On delivers supportive services and case management at a 25-unit permanent housing facility on the Brighton Marine campus.
WinnResidential, the property management arm of WinnCompanies, will manage The Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Village in collaboration with Soldier On. WinnResidential currently manages 16 multifamily properties totaling 2,297 apartments in 11 New Jersey cities and towns. Its sister company, WinnResidential Military Housing Services, manages 41,000 homes for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families at military installations in 12 states.