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Monty Planning Board Hears Plans for a 71-Unit Affordable Apartment Building for Seniors

By Barbara A. Preston l August 16, 2021

The Montgomery Planning Board unanimously granted preliminary major subdivision and site plan approval on July 19 for another affordable housing development. The approval gives RPM Development Group, based in Montclair, to build a three-story apartment building on a 4-acre parcel on what is part of Montgomery’s new municipal campus—on the corner of Route 206 and Orchard Road.

Architect's rendering of a three-story apartment building for seniors.

The smoke-free apartment building will be part of the township’s fair share affordable housing plan in settlement with the NJ Council on Affordable Housing (COAH). Susannah Henschel, RPM’s vice president of development, told the planning board that tenants would make no more that 60 percent of Somerset County’s median income.

The head-of-household must be a senior citizen, defined as “at least 55 years old,” and no one would be permitted to live in the building as a permanent resident if they are under the age of 18. Units would have one-bed- room, and one two-bedroom unit would be for a superintendent who would manage the property.

The building would offer several tiers of affordability. The income max would be $59,160 a year—an hourly wage of $28.44. Rent would cost between $1,000 to $1,235 per month for the majority of the units. Henschel said: “These units are for people with real income who want to live and work in the community.”

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Ten units would be set aside to serve residents who make less than 30 percent of the county median income. Those units would have rents between $350 to $540 per month, she said. NJ Fair Share Housing regulations require 13 percent of Montgomery’s rental units to be affordable to people with very low incomes. RPM would have a deed restriction to keep the building affordable for 45 years.

Planning Board member Tom Wilson said, “I think about all those residents who have a parent who they wish lived a little closer. This will be a great addition to the housing offerings in the township.”


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