Affordable Homes Aimed at Workers in Trenton
The first in a series showcasing the winners of the NAHB 2004 Innovations in Workforce Housing Awards. Entries for the 2005 awards are due by Oct. 28.
The Leewood at North Willow Green development in Trenton, N.J., is providing homeownership opportunities for working families and serving as a model of public-private partnership for the city.
The 35-home development is made up of three- and four-bedroom townhomes alongside a new community park in
's state capital.
The homes have been sold to qualified buyers with annual incomes ranging from $26,000 to $80,000. Purchasers received 100% financing at market interest rates and a generous real estate tax abatement from the city for the next five years. In Mercer County, with median income for a four person household at $74,717, the homes were affordable to workforce families with combined earnings between 35% of median income and 107% of median income.
R. Randy Lee, CEO of Leewood, and Michael Fink, president of the company’s New Jersey Division, accepted the Innovation in Workforce Housing Award, which recognizes outstanding communities across the nation that provide decent and affordable homes for workforce heroes, including nurses, police officers, schoolteachers and other service personnel, near areas in which they work.
"The National Association of Home Builders has long recognized the importance of providing quality, affordable housing to those who vitally need it," Lee said. "This award elevates Leewood Real Estate Group's prestige in the arena of urban and affordable/workforce housing, and we pledge to continue developing communities that will fulfill the dream of homeownership for those in the workforce."
The townhomes include eat-in kitchens; two full baths; generous closets and storage; central air conditioning; distinctive brick facades; private, grass rear yards; and private parking. Some models have full basements, others have garages and recreation rooms.
"Many families and individuals who presently live or work in the Trenton area have wanted to become home owners, but could not afford expensive downpayments and closing costs, and there simply weren't many high quality new homes available at reasonable prices," said Fink. "This new community, with homes affordable to those who teach, police and otherwise make up the City of
's workforce, allows our home buyers to experience the pride of homeownership and to have investment benefits while enjoying their spacious, state-of-the-art new homes."
Leewood at North Willow Green was part of a statewide effort to develop modern new homes that are affordable for
families. A public/private partnership of the Leewood Real Estate Group (NJ Division), the City of
Trenton, New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) and the Concerned Pastors of Trenton and Vicinity all played key roles in the development of the community. More information about the development can be found at www.northwillowgreen.com.
“It is my pleasure to bring attention to projects that are designed to meet the needs of America’s working families,” said Bobby Rayburn, immediate past president of NAHB and a home and apartment builder from Jackson, Miss. “The Innovation in Workforce Housing Awards emphasize creativity in community design, financing and in partnering with other community groups. I can’t think of a better way to single out builders and developers who are ahead of the curve on addressing this critical need.”
Entries for the 2005 Innovations in Workforce Housing Awards Now Being Accepted
The 2005 Innovations in Workforce Housing Awards are open to builders, architects, designers, developers and land planners for communities completed (or for which the first model opened or the first unit was occupied) between Jan. 1, 2003 and Oct. 28, 2005. All entries, including supporting materials, should be postmarked by Oct. 28 to be eligible for inclusion in the competition. Winning entries will be announced at the 2006 International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla.
For more information about entry guidelines, or to get a copy of the entry form, go to www.nahb.org/workforcehousing or e-mail Blake Smith, or call him at 800-358-5242 x8583.
Next week: Mesquite Manor: Affordable Housing for Farm Workers
Award photo by Oscar Einzig Photographers