Middle Twp. residents concerned about affordable housing project - NBC40.net

Middle Twp. residents concerned about affordable housing project

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    Some residents of Middle Township are concerned about a proposed affordable housing complex project. State officials are still in the process of reviewing the public's concerns about the project before development begins on Fishing Creek Road and Tally Ho Road in Cape May Court House.

    "These are brand–new, single–family homes that will be completely in character with the community," says Developer Ron Rukenstein.

    Rukenstein has high hopes for the proposed affordable housing project that would result in 10 single–family homes being built in a residential community in Cape May Court House.

    "The project was funded as a family project with no special needs component. We got word from Middle Township that they would be more supportive of the project if it included a special needs component rather than a family project," says Rukenstein.

    But residents are concerned about the proposed development, fearing the project would not be limited to special needs families and could include general low–income residents.

    "They cannot guarantee that it's not going to be Section 8 housing which is going to impact the development and bring down property values and just bring down the neighborhood and make it risky for the kids and make it risky for the people in the area," says Mark Robbins, a Middle Township resident. 

    But Rukenstein says the Residential Selection Plan will address those concerns.

    "Credit checks, criminal background checks, drug checks, prior tenancy checks. If they meet all of those criteria then the fact that they have rental assistance can't be a reason for denying them the right to live in the community," says Rukenstein.

    State officials held a news conference in Middle Township on September 6th, announcing the project. Rukenstein was approved for funding by the Department of Community Affairs and the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority through a Sandy Aid Grant intended to provide affordable housing for those impacted by the storm.

    "If it does end up getting built we want to ensure that it's in a way that fits the character of our community. That it's not a detriment to the neighborhood,” says Tim Donohue, Mayor of Middle Township.

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