Affordable housing for veterans and families now available on former Camp Kilmer site

PHOTO COURTESY OF PENNROSE
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PHOTO COURTESY OF PENNROSE

EDISON – Camp Kilmer was one of the largest processing centers for troops during World War II. So it’s only fitting the site has transformed into a 172-unit affordable housing community for veterans and their families, according to Jacob Fisher, regional vice president at Pennrose.

Officials from Pennrose, which is committed to developing high-quality, affordable housing for veterans across the country, and Edison Township celebrated the grand opening of the community called Truman Square on Nov. 12.

“We are thrilled to give this historic site a second life designed to support those who served our country just in time for Veterans Day,” Fisher was quoted as saying in a Nov. 15 press release.

The two-phase redevelopment was a key component of Edison’s affordable housing plan and is available for immediate occupancy for residents at a range of incomes.

“With the grand opening of Truman Square, we are one step closer to reaching the township’s ambitious affordable housing goals,” Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey said in the statement. “More families and veterans in Edison will now have access to brand new, high-quality affordable housing and on-site supportive services and resources.”

Truman Square offers one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments available to households earning between 20-60% of the area median income (AMI). In addition, 25% of the units carry a preference for veterans and another 25% carry a preference for formerly homeless veterans.

A total of 32 units are set aside for formerly homeless families. Several units offered at the lowest AMI will be supported through New Jersey’s Division of Developmental Disabilities, the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Edison Housing Authority.

Pennrose Management Company will serve as property manager and Triple C Housing Inc. will also provide residents with on-site tailored supportive services including peer support and veteran to veteran services.

The brand-new apartments feature modern, fully equipped kitchens with electric range and dishwasher; spacious closets; vinyl kitchen flooring; in-unit and on-floor laundry facilities; and resident controlled heating and cooling.

The building is pet-friendly, and residents will have access to shared amenities, including inviting community rooms; fitness centers; professionally landscaped grounds; secured access entry; on-site professional management team; and service-oriented maintenance with 24-hour emergency call service.

Phase A was funded with a Santander construction loan; Santander equity from the sale of 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits; Grandbridge/Freddie Mac first position debt; Middlesex County Housing First Capital Funds; Middlesex County HOME Funds; funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York Affordable Housing Program; and a deferred developer fee. Phase A partnered with the Edison Housing Authority, NJ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services and NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities for rental subsidy vouchers, according to the statement.

Phase B was funded with a New Jersey Housing Mortgage and Finance Agency (NJHMFA) construction loan, HSBC bank equity from the sale of 4% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, NJHMFA first position debt, and NJHMFA secondary sources including Sandy Special Needs Housing Funds, Funds for Restoration of Multifamily Housing, Multifamily Production Funds as well as a deferred developer fee, according to the statement.

In 2019, officials came together for the groundbreaking of Phase 1 of the site after more than a decade of planning.

In 2007, Edison Township took its first steps in acquiring a 23-acre plot of land aimed at ultimately acquiring the last remaining land in Camp Kilmer, which had been a largely unused U.S Army base at the intersection of Kilmer Road and Truman Drive. Camp Kilmer was the largest processing center for troops during World War II, processing more than 2.5 million soldiers. It officially closed in 2009.