Long before Elizabethport's current revitalization efforts, Brand New Day, Inc. (BND) led the charge in creating a climate of reinvestment the community now enjoys. BND, now in its 26th year, has been a pioneer in the redevelopment of vacant and abandoned properties into quality and affordable housing for low-to-moderate income residents. Brand New Day has developed over 100 units of affordable rental housing, constructed 17 affordable homes and sold them to first time homebuyers, promoted homeownership resulting in over 100 new homeowners across the state, prevented foreclosure of exisiting homeowners, restored a community park and built five affordable commercial spaces.
Project No.1: "Brand New Day I"
179-187 First St., Elizabeth, NJ
This four story abandoned building, formerly a convent for the Sisters of the Dominicans Order and a school for boys, was substantially rehabilitated creating 12 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. The gut rehabilitation was completed in February 1988 at a cost of $725,000. The partners in the project included the Presbytery of Elizabeth; the Elizabethport Presbyterian Center; Brand New Day's Board of Directors and the Elizabeth Home Improvement Program. After this project's affordability restrictions expired, Brand New Day, Inc. substantially rehabilitated the exterior envelope of the building, made upgrades to: preserve the longevity of the building; comply with current ADA codes; comply with current fire codes; and modernize the building's mechanical and electrical systems. In doing so, BND preserved the affordability of the project for 15 more years. The cost of the rehab was more than $630,000.
Project No. 2: "Brand New Day II"
201-203 First St., Elizabeth, NJ
Brand New Day, Inc. rehabilitated a three story abandoned building in 1992 creating 12 two-bedroom apartments. The total project cost was $1.06 million. Funding for the project came from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program (LIHTC) and its partners included National State Bank (now, Wachovia); New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency; New Jersey Department of Community Affairs; and the Elizabeth Home Improvement Program.
Project No. 3: "Brand New Day Offices"
176-176-1/2 First St., Elizabeth, NJ:
This fire-razed two-story abandoned structure was formerly used as an after-hours social club and Barbershop. Brand New Day acquired and renovated the building in 1993 creating 2 two-bedroom apartments and Brand New Day's offices. The project cost was $150,000. Partners for the project included: The Presbytery of Elizabeth; Union County Savings Bank; Snyder Foundation; and the Elizabeth Home Improvement Program.
Project No. 4 "Broadway Aptartments"
101 Broadway, Elizabeth, Nj:
This three story multifamily building with 12 three-bedroom apartments, built in 1996, was the first new construction in the Elizabethport since the mid 1960's! The site formerly was a barbeque restaurant that was leveled in a fire. Brand New Day bought it as a vacant lot from Glorious Hope Baptist Church. The cost of the project was $1.1 million. Funding for the project included Low Income Housing Tax Credits and partners: Summit Bank (now Bank of America); New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency; New Jersey Department of Community Affairs; and the Elizabeth Home Improvement Program.
Project No. 5:"Rev. Joseph H. Garlic Child Care Development Center"
154 First St., Elizabeth, NJ
This former bar was purchased by Brand New Day and completely rehabilitated in 1997 for $668,000. This mixed-use building houses 4 four-bedroom apartments and a Day Care Center for 100 preschoolers named in honor of Rev. Joseph H. Garlic, one of Brand New Day, Inc.'s founders and pioneer in the community. Funding for the project included: Elizabethport Presbyterian Center; the City of Elizabeth's Home Improvement Program; Elizabeth Development Company; and New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.
Project No. 6: "Magnolia Mews"
108-114 Magnolia Ave., Elizabeth, NJ
108-114 Magnolia Avenue: In 1997 Brand New Day, Inc. rehabilitated seven abandoned rental row homes and created a 7-unit single-family townhouse development for first-time low-income home buyers. Though the project cost was $748,000. With subsidies built into the project, the homes were between $32,500 - $37,500! Funding partners were: New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and the City of Elizabeth through its Elizabeth Home Improvement Program.
Project No. 7 : "Magnolia Mini Mall"
200-206 Second St., Elizabeth, NJ
171-177 First St., Elizabeth, NJ
Brand New Day purchased two, vacant masonry, mixed-used buildings in 1998 and completed the renovations in 2000. The substantial rehabilitation of the buildings created 21 new two- and three-bedroom apartments and 5 commercial/retail spaces: 16 three-bedroom apartments at 171-177 First Street and 5 two-bedroom apartments and 5 storefronts at 200-206 Second Street. This Low Income Housing Tax Credit project was completed at a cost of $2.7 million. An unprecedented total of twelve funding sources were made available to finance the project! The project partners included: New Jersey Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency; New Jersey Department of Community Affairs; RPM Builders; First Union Bank (now, Wachovia); Garden State Affordable Housing; Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC); Chase Bank (now, J.P. Morgan Chase); Elizabeth Development Company; Neighborhood Reinvestment (now, Neighbor Works America); Independence Foundation; and the Elizabeth Home Improvement Program.
Project No. 8: "Marina Village" Elizabeth, NJ
Brand New Day, Inc. collaborated with The Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth and RPM Builders in the construction of 35 new garden townhouses for low-income families as part of HUD's HOPE VI Initiative. The development is a mixture of one-, two- and three-bedroom flats, duplexes, townhouses and garden apartments. The improvements to the infrastructure included new curbing, sidewalks, paving, signage, street lighting, street trees and site landscaping. Completed in September 2002, the project cost was over $7 million utilizing Low Income Housing Tax Credits. The project's other funders included: New Jersey Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency; HACE/HOPE VI funds; Related Capital; New Jersey Department of Community Affairs; and, New Jersey Redevelopment Authority (Brownfield funding) and the Elizabeth Home Improvement Program.
Project No. 9: "Homeownership Initiative Model Home"
304 Court St., Elizabeth, NJ
Brand New Day purchased an abandoned home at substantial discount from the estate of a longtime community resident. In 2005, a new two-family home was built on the property and sold $100,000 below market value! The funding partners included: New Jersey Community Capital, Neighbor Works America and Local Initiatives Support Corporation. Project No. 10 "Homeownership Initiative Phase I" 144-152 First Street, 108 South Park Street: Brand New Day, Inc. was designated redeveloper of four abandoned lots owned by the City of Elizabeth. In conjunction with Brand New Day's property at 148 First Street, the sites were developed into a one 8-unit condominium development at 144-152 First Street and one single-family house located contiguously at 108 South Park Street. The one family home was sold for $201,250. The remaining townhouse units are being sold for $56,500 - $201,250. Project partners included: New Jersey Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency; Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh; Sovereign Bank; The Redevelopment Fund; the City of Elizabeth and the Elizabeth Home Improvement Program; Neighbor Works America; New Jersey Community Capital; and State of New Jersey through the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program. The total development cost was $2.137,501.
Project NO. 10: "SOUTH Park Condominiums"
144-152 First St., & 108 South park St., Elizabeth, NJ
144-152 First Street, 108 South Park Street: Brand New Day, Inc. was designated redeveloper of four abandoned lots owned by the City of Elizabeth. In conjunction with Brand New Day's property at 148 First Street, the sites were developed into a one 8-unit condominium development at 144-152 First Street and one single-family house located contiguously at 108 South Park Street. The one family home was sold for $201,250 to a first time low-and moderate-income homebuyers who used The Section 8 Homeownership Voucher Program to make her purchase. The remaining townhouse units will be sold at purchase prices ranging from $56,500 - $201,250. Project partners included: New Jersey Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency; Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh; Sovereign Bank; The Redevelopment Fund; the City of Elizabeth and the Elizabeth Home Improvement Program; Neighbor Works America; New Jersey Community Capital; and State of New Jersey through the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program. The total development cost was $2,137,501. This project received state recognition at the 2008 Annual Governor’s Housing Conference on September 24, 2008.. The Governor's Excellence in Housing Award, in the category of “Best Innovative Housing Partnership”, was presented to the Elizabeth Development Company (EDC), the Wachovia Regional Foundation and Brand New Day, Inc. for the successful Homeownership Initiative Phase I project developed by Brand New Day, Inc.
Project No. 11: "Nelson Estates At Standard Place" Eastward Neighborhood, Irvington, NJ
In May 2009, BND was awarded a Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant of $2,000,000 to acquire and redevelop 11 foreclosed properties in the East Ward neighborhood in the Township of Irvington. This investment has been leveraged with $550,000 of city HOME funds and $77,000 of Federal Home Loan Bank of NY funds to build a playground and 11 new homes. BND has been awarded Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 funds for an additional six units in the amount of $585,000. Other funders/supporters include: PNC Bank; New Jersey Redevelopment Authority; FHLBNY/HSBC; and NeighborWorks® America.
Project No. 12: "Russell C. Block Condominiums"
217-219 First St., Elizabeth, NJ
217-219 First Street – 6 condominiums for sale. A dilapidated building that was the epicenter of illegal activity will be converted into six condominiums each with three-bedrooms and two-baths, and a community room and parking facility. This project recently was a successful recipient of Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit program sponsored by the State of New Jersey. Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G) will provide up $250,000 in funding for BND’s proposed Homeownership project, awarded September 2008. In May 2009, BND was awarded a Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant for $600,000 towards the development of this project. Other funding sources include: Union County HOME; City of Elizabeth HOME/CDBG; NeighborWorks America; NJ Community Capital, New Jersey Redevelopment Authority; and Sovereign Bank.
Project No. 13: "Greenwood Gardens"
65-67 Fourth Ave., East Orange, NJ
Greenwood Gardens 65-67 Fourth Avenue, 11 apartments for low-moderate income families and individuals. This vacant building was gutted and partially rehabilitated some years ago and subsequently abandoned by the developer. Brand New Day, Inc. will complete the gut rehabilitation of this 11-unit multifamily building for low- and moderate-income families and individuals and build a roof-top garden.
PROJECTS IN DEVELOPMENT-HOMEOWNERSHIP
217-219 First Street – gut rehabilitation of a dilapidated, three-story building that was used as an illegal rooming house above a store out of which an illegal enterprise was run. The project will create 6 units of for-sale housing targeted to first-time homebuyers whose income is 80% of the median income of Union County and below. Amenities will include wood flooring, central air conditioning, parking lot, and ceramic tile. Though located in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the units may be purchased by any first time homebuyer who meets the income guidelines.
PROJECTS IN DEVELOPMENT-AFFORDABLE RENTAL HOUSING
The project will substantially rehabilitate two adjacent buildings, one of which currently houses Brand New Day, Inc.'s offices, 176 First Street, and dilapidated and mostly vacant building at 170-174 First Street. 176 First St. is a two story building being used exclusively for Brand New Day, Inc.'s offices. 170-174 First Street is a mixed use building having two stories at the corner of First Street and Court Street and three stories next to Brand New Day, Inc.'s building. The first floor is commercial and the upper floor(s) are residential. We will demolish the existing building and build sixteen new affordable rental units. The project will also moderately rehabilitate two of BND's existing buildings whose LIHTC's are expiring: 201 First Street and 101 Broadway. Each of the buildings contains 12 units. 201 First Street has all 2-bedroom units and 101 Broadway has all 3-bedroom units. Each building will receive moderate rehabilitation that will modernize the apartments including making them cable ready, add central air conditioning, and make them handicapped accessible. We will also renovate both building's basements to make 201 First Street's finished and usable space and to make some renovations to 101 Broadway's basement and community room.
Financial Literacy and Home Buyers' Education
BND began teaching financial literacy and homeownership education in the spring of 2002. As a result of this Initiative approximately 1000 individuals have enrolled and well over 600 individuals and/or families have completed the 14 week series of the Financial Literacy & Homeownership classes. During FY 2005, Brand New Day, Inc. introduced the M.A.P. pilot program (a.k.a. Home Buyers Club) to further support our existing Home ownership Initiative.
In October 2006, BND received a HUD designation allowing us to provide credit counseling. Our one-on-one credit and homebuyer counseling are available to residents from New York/New Jersey Metropolitan area. Each participant receives individual credit and homeownership counseling for 12 to 16 hours unless there are credit issues or other barriers to homeownership that require further counseling and an additional twenty hours of group counseling in the areas of basic banking, household budgeting, understanding credit, basic investing/saving, borrowing basics, earned income tax credit and basic mortgage products, qualifying for a mortgage, saving for homeownership, securing a mortgage loan types of mortgage products, the home buying process, the real estate closing, and home maintenance. Contact is documented via an approved software system.
Post Purchase Education, Foreclosure Intervention and Prevention Services
Post–Purchase Education: Brand New Day operates a comprehensive post-purchase education and counseling program to assist homeowners who are having difficulties managing their mortgages or their homes. Curriculum includes the NeighborWorks America's Keeping The American Dream Curriculum as well as elements from HUD's post purchase education curriculum. The topics covered are, money management, community involvement, Home maintenance and repair, hiring contractors, and financing home repair and remodeling.
Foreclosure Intervention & Prevention
In 2006, BND experienced an inordinate amount of families seeking foreclosure assistance. We were receiving referrals by HUD, NeighborWorks America, the National HOTLINE 1 995 HOPE and community agencies to assist families who are in danger of foreclosure. In 2007, Brand New Day added Foreclosure Prevention and Intervention to its line of business assistance to constituents. Brand New Day works overtime to help keep families from losing their homes and neighborhoods from becoming blighted by foreclosed properties. Foreclosure Prevention Services encompasses pre-foreclosure education and counseling, where participants are taught to manage their money during homeownership, how and when to refinance, and how and when to contact their mortgage or loan servicing company.
Foreclosure Intervention Services provides emergency assistance with contacting lenders and negotiating for loan modification, forbearances, short sales, and deed-in lieu programs for participants already in foreclosure. Participants are also provided with credit counseling and financial fitness education to help them manage their finances for continued homeownership.
Participants who feel they have been victims of predatory lending are referred to the Attorney General and to agencies that assist with emergency refinance and rescue funds for fraud victims. This program also provides referrals to rescue fund services.
PROPERTY & ASSET MANAGEMENT
Brand New Day has a portfolio that consists of one hundred residential units and seven commercial units. As the apartments age BND works continuously to maintain, upgrade and plan for each property to remain viable and affordable in a market that is constantly becoming more expensive. BND's Asset Manager is responsible for overseeing the future longevity of existing and on-going expansion of our portfolio in the affordable housing market.
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