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Re: Jersey City Housing Authority seeks federal grant to redevelop public housing development
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If you want to know more about this project, email Joan Pollock (details below) to be put on her email list for these updates. Here is her recent message. Next community meeting is Aug. 15. The last one was very interesting as they are planning a holistic community with shopping, education, recreation and community/public services and amenities along with mixed income housing. It would be a great chance to catch up on the plan, if you can make it. If they can accomplish even half of what they are planning (and hopefully they will exceed that), this will be a tremendous win for the city all around. Note: I cannot attach the flyer here but it basically just announces the meeting.


Hello Choice Neighborhoods Friends:

Attached is a flyer advertising the next McGinley Square-Montgomery Corridor public meeting scheduled for Thursday, August 15, 2013. We will present changes to the Plan and what we?d like to add to the grant application for critical community improvements based on stakeholder ideas from the last meeting. Hope you can join us. Refreshments will be served.

Best, Joan

Joan Pollock
Director of Development & Design
Jersey City Housing Authority
400 US Highway #1
Jersey City, NJ 07306
(201) 706-4617
(201) 547-6648 (fax)
jpollock@jcha.us

Posted on: 2013/8/7 16:16
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Montgomery Gardens
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Any update with Montgomery Gardens?

Does anyone know where the majority of the tenants relocated to? I read there are still a few living there but did the rest stay in JC or move to another city? Did they get vouchers to move to a certain neighborhood or housing?

Just curious.

Posted on: 2013/8/7 2:51
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Re: Jersey City Housing Authority seeks federal grant to redevelop public housing development
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hero69 wrote:
looks nice..but i think there should be some requirements that people who commit violent crimes on the premises should be barred from the premises.


That is the current federal law for Section 8.

Posted on: 2013/7/26 16:23
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Re: Jersey City Housing Authority seeks federal grant to redevelop public housing development
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The destruction of those buildings cannot come fast enough.

Posted on: 2013/7/24 20:55
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Re: Jersey City Housing Authority seeks federal grant to redevelop public housing development
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looks nice..but i think there should be some requirements that people who commit violent crimes on the premises should be barred from the premises.

Posted on: 2013/7/24 20:40
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Re: Jersey City Housing Authority seeks federal grant to redevelop public housing development
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The meeting with JC Housing Authority last night was really interesting. If they accomplish what they showed us in the current plan, this will be a stellar example of mixed-income housing with a true community feel (supermarket, public plazza, services, etc.)

http://photos.nj.com/jersey-journal/2 ... housing_authority_11.html

Posted on: 2013/7/24 20:32
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Re: Jersey City Housing Authority seeks federal grant to redevelop public housing development
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I almost fell on floor when I read about that woman not wanting to leave. Public housing was not intended to be permanent housing - not the ancestral home. Get rid of them and mix everybody up

Posted on: 2013/7/23 13:56
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Re: Jersey City Housing Authority seeks federal grant to redevelop public housing development
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I don't get it the resident interviewed stated the place is dirty, broken fixtures so why does she want to stay? I'm sure they will relocate her to a newer residence.
They will have to control the drug and gang problem there as well it seems to attract that type of element for whatever reason.
And mixed income does this mean they will raise the level of income allowed to live there if so any new resident would probably opt for a better place to live.

Posted on: 2013/7/23 12:43
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Re: Jersey City Housing Authority seeks federal grant to redevelop public housing development
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fat-ass-bike wrote:
"It is obsolete," Housing Authority Executive Director Maria Maio said of the complex that was built in 1957 with federal funds. "We don't have enough money to maintain properties like Montgomery Gardens, and we think mixed-income developments has proven to be the best way to develop affordable housing."

This is the real problem - mismangement 101.
Why is it that this complex was poorly maintained while private homes built in the same period are still fine - Where did the money go? Could it be just another example of inept Housing Authority / Cityhall managers? Are we likely to have a repeat with the next generation of city managers .... I think so?
This is great news for gentrification developers or should we solve the problem with the socioeconomic eradication / cleansing of a specific gene pool?


A couple of things.

1. I think we could all point to more than a few private homes that were built in the same period that are anything but fine.

2. It's apples and oranges, private homes are private, public low income housing is subsidized, and like everything else in the public sphere it is subject to all sort of budging issues and prioritization. I don't know if you've noticed but where there is a money squeeze poor folks don't often fall at the top of the list of priorities.

3. Mixed income works just fine (assuming they wind up with mixed income). It has been shown repeatedly to work better for the people living there and the city at large. Concentrated poverty is self sustaining, and being able to mix up the economic status of the residents a bit is a good thing if it is done correctly.

Posted on: 2013/7/23 11:46
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Re: Jersey City Housing Authority seeks federal grant to redevelop public housing development
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"It is obsolete," Housing Authority Executive Director Maria Maio said of the complex that was built in 1957 with federal funds. "We don't have enough money to maintain properties like Montgomery Gardens, and we think mixed-income developments has proven to be the best way to develop affordable housing."

This is the real problem - mismangement 101.
Why is it that this complex was poorly maintained while private homes built in the same period are still fine - Where did the money go? Could it be just another example of inept Housing Authority / Cityhall managers? Are we likely to have a repeat with the next generation of city managers .... I think so?
This is great news for gentrification developers or should we solve the problem with the socioeconomic eradication / cleansing of a specific gene pool?

Posted on: 2013/7/23 11:36
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Re: Jersey City Housing Authority seeks federal grant to redevelop public housing development
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"I don't want to leave, I've been here since 1970," Benthall said today, adding she is the third generation of her family to live at the development.

This is the problem.

Posted on: 2013/7/23 11:14
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Re: Jersey City Housing Authority seeks federal grant to redevelop public housing development
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Jersey City housing complex a virtual ghost town; townhouses planned

Michaelangelo Conte
The Jersey Journal
July 22, 2013

The Montgomery Gardens public housing complex, in the heart of Jersey City, not too very long ago housed 1,200 tenants.

It's now a virtual ghost town.

There's only about 130 tenants currently residing in 80 apartments at the sprawling six-building, 434-unit complex on Montgomery Street, just down the road from the Beacon condo development, the lavishly renovated old Jersey City Medical Center.

The emptying out of Montgomery Gardens, the scene of a recent spate of shootings, is part of the Jersey City Housing Authority's elaborate plan to do away with poor people high-rises and replace them with mixed-income housing, schools, retail shops, a grocery store, and other amenities.

"It is obsolete," Housing Authority Executive Director Maria Maio said of the complex that was built in 1957 with federal funds. "We don't have enough money to maintain properties like Montgomery Gardens, and we think mixed-income developments has proven to be the best way to develop affordable housing."

Over the past couple of years, three buildings in the complex have been emptied. The grounds are overgrown with weeds, strewn with trash. The spray park fountains are dry. One resident said he ran a hose out his window to cool down children still living at the complex during the recent heat wave.

The residents who have moved out have all been either relocated to another public housing development or have been given a Section 8 voucher to help pay rent, Maio said. So far, the moves have been voluntary, but at some point they could become mandatory, she said.

Valerie Benthall, 45, one of the residents still at the complex, is angry about having to leave her home.

"I don't want to leave, I've been here since 1970," Benthall said today, adding she is the third generation of her family to live at the development. "They don't even clean up. They don't even put on the water for the kids to play, they just want us to get out. We want to stay."

Maio said she wasn't aware of the weeds, and trash, and non-functioning spray park. But "maybe the (spray) system just doesn't work any more," she said. "If you have children, it may not be the best place to be."

Montgomery Gardens is hardly the first public housing development in Jersey City to go down this path. The Curries Woods, A. Harry Moore, and Lafayette Gardens housing developments have all been transformed into low-density communities.

Nationally, the old public housing model -- tall buildings with high concentrations of people at or near poverty -- is seen as a failure, breeding grounds for crime and despair. The current thinking is that mixed-income communities will bring better services, safer communities, and hope to the poor.

"Unfortunately, A. Harry Moore was notorious for crime (and) drug activity," said Maio. The conversion to townhouses "worked out great. It certainly has made a difference to the neighborhood and lives of residents there."

The goal is to replace the 434 units at Montgomery Gardens with 3- and 4-story townhouses containing about 250 units, and then build another 600 units on nearby lots.

The project hinges on the Jersey City Housing Authority receiving a $30 million federal grant, which Maio says would be leveraged to raise more than $300 million from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and other sources.

Grant winners will be announced in March. If the funding comes through, the time frame for completing the project would be roughly five years, Maio said.

As part of the plans, a 70-unit building at the corner of Montgomery and Florence streets would be renovated and turned into the Catherine Todd Senior Building and would be just for seniors. This project would take two years, Maio said.

There's a meeting tomorrow night, 7 p.m., at the Saint Peter's University MacMahon Student Center, Glenwood Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard, to discuss the plans with the public. A similar meeting is on tap at the same place and same time on Aug. 15.

Illtack Hwang,who operates the Wash World dry cleaners across the street from the complex, said today that his business has suffered because of the tenants who have left the complex. .

"My business is down almost 40 percent," Hwang said. "I don't care what they put there as long as there are people."

A worker in a nearby restaurant said, "It's OK that these projects move became it's dangerous here and it will be better for business." She added, "People are afraid to come here at night."

Muhmmad Erbad of Manbool-e-Elahi restaurant said about the planned changes, "It's good. These people don't have money. Don't spend money. And there will be less crime."

Posted on: 2013/7/23 1:34
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Re: Jersey City Housing Authority seeks federal grant to redevelop public housing development
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If the government seriously wants to help them move up the social ladder, it should help those who are willing, to relocate to higher growth states like Texas. The job creators for low skilled jobs have been driven out of state because of all sorts of taxes and they are not coming back.



I like that idea a lot. Unfortunately we do not have the industrial jobs we had in the past.

Posted on: 2013/7/22 13:31
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Re: Jersey City Housing Authority seeks federal grant to redevelop public housing development
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If the government seriously wants to help them move up the social ladder, it should help those who are willing, to relocate to higher growth states like Texas. The job creators for low skilled jobs have been driven out of state because of all sorts of taxes and they are not coming back.

Posted on: 2013/7/22 13:15
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Re: Jersey City Housing Authority seeks federal grant to redevelop public housing development
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I'd pack up and leave if some of those people moved next to me.


Well, start packing.

Posted on: 2013/7/22 12:46
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Re: Jersey City Housing Authority seeks federal grant to redevelop public housing development
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I'd pack up and leave if some of those people moved next to me.

At least you called them people.

Posted on: 2013/7/22 11:42
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Re: Jersey City Housing Authority seeks federal grant to redevelop public housing development
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I'd pack up and leave if some of those people moved next to me.

Posted on: 2013/7/22 11:34
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Re: Jersey City Housing Authority seeks federal grant to redevelop public housing development
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I think we need to stop funding housing projects and mix the residents into communities throughout the area. Or turn Montgomery gardens into a truly mix-income area


With The Beacon right next door, it will be a mix income neighborhood, no?

Posted on: 2013/7/22 1:01
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Re: Jersey City Housing Authority seeks federal grant to redevelop public housing development
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I think we need to stop funding housing projects and mix the residents into communities throughout the area. Or turn Montgomery gardens into a truly mix-income area

Posted on: 2013/7/22 0:59
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Jersey City Housing Authority seeks federal grant to redevelop public housing development
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Charles Hack/The Jersey Journal

The Jersey City Housing Authority is seeking a $30 million federal grant to redevelop Montgomery Gardens and as part of that application is holding two public meetings.
The meetings will be held Tuesday, July 23, and Thursday, Aug. 15, at Saint Peter?s University MacMahon Student Center, Glenwood Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard. Both meetings will start at 7 p.m.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides just three Choice Neighborhood Grants nationwide each year, and as part of the application the housing authority is required to hold meetings to keep the public informed of the application.

To qualify for the grant, the housing authority will have to replace the existing 435 public housing or Section 8 units at Montgomery Gardens on Montgomery Street and add an additional 436 new housing units.

The housing authority will also have to demonstrate to HUD that the new development will have certain amenities, including retails stores, schools, youth programs, restaurants banks and health clinics, officials said.

It will also have to improve access to pre-K school programs, parks and recreational facilities and public transportation, as well walkways for pedestrians and bikes.


Posted on: 2013/7/22 0:30
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