CIS receives LIHTC Awards

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CIS is pleased to share the exciting news that the Place at Plainsboro was selected as one of the 29 affordable housing communities awarded 9% Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC).

As announced, on Friday, August 25, 2017 the 29 projects consist of 2,175 apartments within 14 counties across New Jersey and total approximately $40 million in LIHTC funds.

CIS also received an award of volume cap (4% LIHTC with tax-exempt bonds) and an award of CDBG-DR FRM (Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing under Superstorm Sandy Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Relief) for an age restricted community known as Heritage Village at Galloway.

A big thank you to all our staff, professionals, partners, investors, and friends who make what we do possible.

The Township of Ocean, Community Investments Strategies, and residents celebrate the grand opening of Heritage Village at Oakhurst

Heritage Village at Oakhurst Ribbon Cutting

Heritage Village at Oakhurst addresses the need for affordable senior housing and provides aging-in-place services.

OAKHURST, N.J. (June 16, 2017) – State, county, local officials, and residents joined Community Investment Strategies, Inc. (CIS), a recognized builder of award-winning multi-family housing communities throughout New Jersey, for a ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil Heritage Village at Oakhurst, an affordable age-restricted housing community in Ocean Township, Monmouth County

“CIS is pleased to add Heritage at Oakhurst to our growing family of senior communities in Ocean Township and Monmouth County,” said Christiana Foglio, CEO of CIS.  “We are also excited to announce our strategic partnership with RWJBarnabas- Monmouth Medical under Care Strategies, which will offer community health services right here in Oakhurst and at our sister properties in Monmouth County, including Heritage Village at Ocean.”

Addressing the audience, Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling spoke about the importance of affordable housing.  He said “our seniors should not have to leave New Jersey because they can’t afford to stay.  Having affordable options such as Heritage Village at Oakhurst means staying close to loved ones and being able to enjoy your golden years.

The four-story, 100,000 square-foot building is comprised of 93 one- and two-bedroom rental apartments and serves seniors age 55+ whose income is at or below 60% of Area Median Income ($39,480 for a one-person household).

The new construction, which replaces affordable senior homes in the area that were destroyed by flooding, incorporate specific resiliency design elements to prevent and address potential weather and disaster related events.  Apartment amenities include central heating and air conditioning, energy efficient appliances, high quality floors, LED lighting, washer/dryer hookups, high speed internet, intercom, and emergency pull cords.

The smoke free, pet friendly community features on-site management, 24-hour emergency maintenance, key fob entry, security cameras, on-site parking, and ample community space including a large community room, outdoor patio, library, lounge, computer room, fitness studio, and a wellness center.

Mayor Siciliano said “The persistence of Christiana Foglio has paid off in spades.  By bringing this project to the Township of Ocean, not only has she provided an affordable option for many of our local residents, she has provided something that has no price tag – the social benefit to many seniors once living alone, now has them thriving in an atmosphere, which is essential to all humans.  On behalf of our seniors and the Township of Ocean, I wish to thank Christiana and the CIS team for their diligence in bringing Heritage Village to our community.”

Senator Jennifer Beck and Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling each presented a framed resolution to CIS recognizing their work in providing affordable senior housing.

CIS has rapidly become a leader in senior independent and assisted senior services in Monmouth County.  Its expanded services now include a sister company ONORA health, providing a memory care residence in Ocean Township, as well as Care Strategies, offering assisted living services in all our senior facilities in Monmouth County.  CIS is a national leader is creating housing and health structures to keep seniors healthy and independent longer.

Financing includes HMFA Construction and Permanent Financing, Community Block Development Grant Disaster Recovery Fund for Multifamily Recovery, NJHMFA Special Need Housing Trust Funds, Monmouth County HOME Funds, and Township Of Ocean. Low Income Housing Tax Credit Equity is provided by Enterprise Community Investments.

 Speakers included Ocean Township Mayor Christopher P. Siciliano; Senator Jennifer Beck; Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling; NJHMFA Executive Director Anthony Marchetta; Monmouth County Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone; HUD Field Office Director Maria Maio-Messano.

Christiana Foglio Delivers Keynote Address to Douglass College Class of 2017

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On Saturday, May 13, 2017, the Douglass community gathered in Voorhees Chapel, Hickman Hall, and Trayes Hall to celebrate the achievements of the Douglass Class of 2017.

Alumna Christiana Foglio DC’84 gave the keynote address, asking graduates “what do they believe is possible,” and passing along several life lessons. Chris challenged the graduates to pass on their success to others, and shared how Douglass alumnae have encouraged and supported her throughout her career.

She is a very involved alumna, giving of her time and resources to help not only Douglass, but also Rutgers’ Bloustein School and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. She places a priority on helping women who are facing challenges in their lives, from collaborating with single, working mothers on the design of low and middle-income housing developments, to helping breast cancer patients in their recovery.

Throughout her speech Chris encouraged the Class of 2017 to reflect on the Douglass legacy of education, achievement, and success, and reflect on how they will use their success. She left the new graduates with the parting challenge – “Today’s challenge is to never let yourself forget, that the true measure of a life well-lived, is not the number of things that you will leave behind, but by the number of lives that you will touch that will go on to touch the lives of others. So invest in encouraging one another. Dare to be your sister’s keeper…Things don’t make life better, people like you do.”

Reprinted from Douglass Spotlight

Community Gardens at Windsor Crescent

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Spring of 2017 is upon us and plans to revitalize the community gardens at Windsor Crescent, a rental community located in Jackson, NJ are underway. The residents are excited to begin the growing season and prepare the ten raised beds for planting. The program is a collaboration between Community Investment Strategies, BEAM, Building Empowerment Advancing Mobility, a non-profit corporation and Groundwork Elizabeth’s Community Gardening Program. A common vision of “changing places, changing lives” inspires the plan created for Windsor Crescent.

There is much preparation required before planting begins. The residents were eager to begin weeding and cleaning up the beds before spreading new topsoil, compost and fertilizer. It is a labor of love for many of the residents and their children as they learn how to garden, harvest and prepare healthy, nutritious foods that they have grown.

This year, a water saving irrigation system was installed for the drought conditions during the hottest summer months. Once preparations were complete, the fruits and vegetables were planted by the residents. The plant selection chosen with input from the residents include tomatoes, eggplant, pepper, cucumber, basil, beans, mint and strawberries.

The goal of this garden is to engage the residents and provide the educational, environmental and nutritional benefits of gardening. We are so excited to share in this worthwhile initiative that allows the participants to reap the “fruits” of their labor and take pride in maintaining the garden.

Community Investment Stategies Garners Four FAME Awards

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Community Investment Strategies (CIS), Inc., a full service real estate firm, received four Fabulous Achievement in Marketing Excellence (FAME) awards from the Shore Builders Association of Central New Jersey (SBACNJ). The 14th annual awards banquet, held at South Gate Manor, was attended by more than 200 members and associates of the building industry.

“We’re honored to receive these awards which recognize the hard work and dedication that our development, construction and management staff show all year long,” said Christiana Foglio, founder/owner and chief executive officer of CIS.

Westminster Heights received the first FAME award of the evening for Best Redevelopment of a Residential Project. The affordable, 84 apartment-home community in Elizabeth, N.J. is the second phase of the major Oakwood Plaza Redevelopment. Winning in this category illustrates how CIS has raised the standards when it comes to rehabilitation projects for low income families.

Heritage Village at Bloomfield, an affordable, 82 apartment-home community for active adults 55+ won two FAME awards – Best Architectural Design and Best Interior Merchandising of a Multifamily Community. Located in the Bloomfield historic district, the exceptional design of the community seamlessly blends classic and contemporary styles. The building features a glass entryway, floor-to-ceiling windows, recessed lighting, and a mix of hard-wood and ceramic-tile flooring. Common areas of the building are well-appointed with art, merchandise, and plants to enhance each space including a large community room with catering kitchen and fireplace, fitness center, wellness suite library, computer room, and courtyard.

Additionally, Heritage Village at Ocean won the FAME award for Best Landscaping of a Multifamily Community. The affordable, 96-apartment-home community for active adults 55+ is located in a park-like setting with a variety of trees, shrubs, and flowers throughout the property. Residents enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle and are close to some of the best beaches in New Jersey.

“The evening was superb,” said Samantha Hennessey, project coordinator at CIS. “We submit our affordable communities knowing we are up against market-rate properties. Winning these awards show our product is comparable to some of the best housing in the state and we are proud to compete against them.”

CIS Communities Featured in Affordable Housing Finance Article

Bayshore Village AHF Article

Community Investment Strategies is excited and honored to have been recently featured in an article by Affordable Housing Finance.

Affordable Housing Finance (AHF) is a publication devoted to providing editorial pieces serving the low-income housing industry.  Their main focus in on financing options, development strategies, and management techniques to the owners, managers, developers, and agencies involved in affordable housing.

The AHF article highlights one of Community Investment Strategies’ newest 62+ communities, Bayshore Village.  Bayshore Village, located in the Port Monmouth section of Middletown, N.J., replaces a 96-unit development that was partially destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.  CIS developers were able to renew this damaged community and turn it into a brand new 110-unit building for seniors 62 and older.

Superstorm Sandy changed that way that we view building, rehabilitating and operating affordable housing developments.  In fact, CIS took part in a 3 year-long Learning Collaborate for Multifamily Housing Resilience following Superstorm Sandy.  The Learning Collaborate featured a dozen developers from New Jersey and New York.  It provided key support and knowledge in the recovery and rebuilding process that takes place after such natural disasters.

AHF goes on to explain how CIS was affected and inspired by the Learning Collaborate and discusses how our development team utilized critical lessons learned to make Bayshore Village a safer and structurally stronger estate. Bayshore Village is located close to the shoreline, so we knew that we had to have a solid plan of protecting the building and its residents if another storm were to ever strike.

Lastly, AHF and CIS mutually stress how important it is that multifamily and affordable housing organizations have preventative and protective measures in place for natural disasters.

We are so excited to be featured in this article and hope that you give it a read!  To view the article in its entirety, visit: http://www.housingfinance.com/developments/new-senior-development-in-new-jersey-model-of-resiliency_o