Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Tenafly Closer to Housing for Disabled

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Tenafly Closer to Housing for Disabled

Article excerpt

TENAFLY -- The mayor and council are expected to introduce an ordinance tonight authorizing acquisition of 311 Tenafly Road for $999,999 with the aim of promoting housing for the disabled. The property will be paid for with state fair-housing funds, not taxpayer dollars, local officials said.

A public hearing on the issue is set for Feb. 26.

The council has directed the borough attorney to proceed with the closing of the property, which is likely to be completed by the end of March, and to draft a document calling for the borough to turn the property over to United Way, a non-profit that builds housing for low-income families statewide, said Borough Clerk Lissette Aportela.

Borough officials have been in talks for several months with United Way about a proposed 10-unit housing project where the disabled could live independently.

United Way has previously built projects in Allendale and is currently building housing for autistic clients in Ramsey and other towns.

The Tenafly plan calls for a 6,000-square-foot building serving 10 people with special needs. United Way would take care of the construction, maintenance and operation of the site, said officials.

The property, which required state Department of Environmental Protection approval because it is near Tenakill Brook, has been vacant for a while. It received DEP approval recently.

Several residents spoke out in favor of the project, including Karen Sperling Greene, whose adult cousin is disabled.

"There are many aging parents right in our midst who are caring for their adult children with special needs and agonize about what will happen to them once they are gone," Greene said.

United Way said it will make a public announcement when the project is ready to accept applicants.

Councilwoman Martha Kerge supports the project, saying it provides Council on Affordable Housing credits in meeting its obligation to promote housing for people of modest income, and that it promotes housing for the disabled without burdening taxpayers. …

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