A partnership between Lakewood and three charity organizations is hoping affordable housing will help people settle down in the Township.

The project, which is collaboration between the Township, NJ Steps, NJ Hands/Homes for All, and the Lakewood Affordable Housing Corporation is using acreage donated by Lakewood to create affordable homes for purchase as well as rent.

Lakewood committeeman Ray Coles says that the long term goal of the project is to “be able to bring a nice safe house for people to raise their families in that doesn’t require them to work two and three jobs just to make mortgage payments.” Adding that especially for young homeowners there has always been a vicious cycle in the state regarding home prices. “For too many years housing in New Jersey was limited to for four five six hundred thousand dollars, and speaking from personal experience when I moved to New Jersey twenty years ago that 130 thousand dollar house was almost out of my reach”

Coles says that he wants to see people settle into Lakewood to put down roots into the community. He notes that for a homeowners the prospect of new homes will be appealing because “That’s a huge thing for a young family to come in to be able to afford a nice house that they can grow in to, that’s in a nice neighborhood that’s safe, and they don’t have to worry about major repairs to the houses because they’re all new.”

Coles said now the biggest challenge they face is finding subsidies and grants in order to keep the prices of the homes and rental units low.

“All of the developers are going out and looking for different ways different grants, whether it be federal to try and bring the cost of these units down. Whether it be different forms of financing, but it’s going to be a tricky proposition. The days of offering a huge subsidy on that house it’s not looking to good in the state of New Jersey.”