Cranbury Township officials assist CHA for block grant

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Several of the homes at Parkside at Bennett Place in Cranbury on March 3.ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF
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One of 16 rental homes at Parkside on Bennett Place in Cranbury on March 3. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF
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Several of the homes at Parkside at Bennett Place in Cranbury on March 3.ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF
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One of 16 rental homes at Parkside on Bennett Place in Cranbury on March 3. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF

Cranbury’s Township Committee has approved a resolution that assists the Cranbury Housing Associates (CHA) in moving forward on an application for a community development block grant.

The resolution was approved by the Township Committee on Feb. 24 at a meeting in Town Hall.

Mayor Matt Scott, Deputy Mayor Mike Ferrante, Committeewoman Evelyn Spann, and Committeewoman Barbara Rogers voted “yes” on the motion.

Committeeman James Taylor was absent from the meeting.

The block grant would come from Middlesex County.

And the CHA is requesting $29,506 in grant funds for the rehabilitation of low-to-moderate income housing in town.

“The Cranbury Housing Associates enters an application to the county and luckily for us they usually return with a significant dollar amount,” Mayor Matt Scott said.

According to officials, CHA is a non-profit membership organization that consists of township residents who develop and manage high quality, affordable housing in Cranbury.

“These are funds from the county are intended to be earmarked for development. In the past we have used this grant to help our development projects, such as Applewood Court. There is a property we are re-developing on Old Cranbury Road for a group home, so last year’s funds were earmarked for that project which went to engineering and architecture,” said Michael Kaiser, treasurer of the Cranbury Housing Associates. “We have come to understand that these funds do not have to be used for new development but also be used for housing rehabilitation.”

If the grant application is approved by the county, CHA would receive $29,506 out of the $1.59 million the county is set to allocate to various townships.

“The resolution authorizes us to move forward. What we are looking to do with this fund is to work on energy upgrades at Parkside and Bennett Place that is just off of Maplewood Ave. The property is 18 years olds, a lot of the technology there is outdated,” Kaiser said. “We want to improve that technology and change the existing building and site line for better energy efficiency. We have a proposed budget of $32,000 to be spent on the property. The block grant covers $29,000 of it.”

He added that CHA is going to work on the scope definition in August, then bid out the work, and construction will be at the end of 2020.