Built to withstand tough weather conditions, Heritage Village at Bloomfield is a new affordable housing development in a community that was hard hit by Hurricane Sandy.

The 82-unit property in Bloomfield, N.J., addresses the demand for affordable senior housing and is constructed with resiliency features to protect residents from weather-related disasters, according to developer Community Investment Strategies (CIS). CIS leaders note that after Hurricane Sandy in 2012, nearly 100,000 homes in Bloomfield were without power for several days. Of the 859 units in Essex County that suffered flood damage, 54% served low- to moderate-income households.

Resiliency features at Heritage Village at Bloomfield include cement board exteriors; LED lighting; emergency generators; ground-level bathroom and a shower that are accessible during times of extended power loss; and an energy-efficient ventilation system.

“As both a developer and owner of affordable housing complexes, Hurricane Sandy taught us that our communities need to be built stronger so they can withstand weather-related events and keep our residents protected,” said Christiana Foglio, CIS founder and CEO. “We took great care in making Heritage Village at Bloomfield resilient, preparing for the worst so residents can feel safe in the event of an emergency.”

Officials redeveloped a municipal parking lot to create the $20 million housing development. Funding for Heritage Village at Bloomfield includes low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) equity provided by Boston Capital and JPMorgan Chase as well as a construction and permanent loan from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA). The financing also includes Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds.

“At NJHMFA, we are happy to have provided an integral part of the financing for Heritage Village at Bloomfield’s now completed redevelopment, which will directly benefit seniors while expanding affordable housing opportunities and community facilities,” said Anthony L. Marchetta, NJHMFA executive director.

His agency awarded the project federal 9% LIHTCs that have generated approximately $12.7 million in private equity and $5 million in federal CDBG-DR dollars through the Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing Program.

Heritage Village at Bloomfield features 74 one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom apartments as well as a community room, wellness and fitness centers, library, and management office. Apartments include heating, air conditioning, energy-efficient appliances, LED lighting, and emergency pull cords. Residents will also enjoy a range of programmed activities.

"Our town was devastated after Hurricane Sandy. Some houses were nearly 10 feet underwater, and others experienced property damage, downed power lines, and fallen trees from the strong winds,” said Bloomfield Mayor Michael J. Venezia. “CIS shared our same vision for rebuilding Bloomfield after Hurricane Sandy, and we are grateful for the hard work they put into creating a community where residents can feel safe and comfortable and where our seniors will have the opportunity to continue living here and contributing to our community in affordable housing."

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment ranges from $493 for residents at or below 30% of the area median income (AMI), $700 for residents at or below 50% of the AMI, and $862 for residents at or below 60% of the AMI. Rent for a two-bedroom apartment ranges from $592 for residents at or below 30% of the AMI and $1,028 for residents at or below 60% of the AMI.