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SLIDE SHOW: Willow Pond Village Grand Opening

Willow Pond Village Grand Opening, 601 Chamberlain Ave. Perth Amboy 6/3/16

*Photos by  Paul W. Wang • Story below.

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By: Katherine Massopust

PERTH AMBOY –  On 6/9/16 the Willow Pond Village announced its grand openings. The former site of Delaney Homes on Chamberlain Avenue have not been used since victims of Hurricane Katrina briefly resided there until they found a new home. 15.6 acres of land were turned into affordable housing.

At the ribbon cutting of the new apartment complex, Executive Director of the Housing Authority Doug Dzema spoke, “A number of meetings were held. In 2011 the redevelopment plan called for 84 units of affordable housing in the Parkview Apartments (New Brunswick Avenue) It was decided to build a family development to compliment the Parkview Apartments. The Ingerman Group was chosen to build affordable housing on the Delaney Homes property. The Board of Commissioners decided the need for a new high school was more important than the financial gain from building more apartments (on the remaining 11.9 acres) The new high school will be soon getting underway. The Willow Pond complex offers 70 units of a family complex and a state of the art facility. This City is a better place to call home. I want to thank the new residents. The development is a beautiful place.”

Anthony Marchetta, Executive Director HMFA, spoke, “In New Jersey affordable housing puts a 9% tax credit for federal low income housing tax credits. After Sandy, the State of NJ provided relief. We needed good team players. I grew up in Middlesex County. This project will help integrate the community. There is economic development here.”

Housing Authority Chair Dorothy Dainiel spoke, “This is an important day on so many levels. Today we can say we are successful. Thanks to everyone. Doug Dzema started working when he was 18 years old. What he does is tremendous. I was blessed to find a wizard in that man. He makes things better. He is dedicated to his job. He is a true gentle soul. I’ve been here for 33 years (on the housing authority). We have the best staff in the county. People don’t know what public housing has done for the City. Many people grew up in public housing. It was a community. It was the best place to grow up. We were accountable to each other. I left the door open and nobody took anything. A lot of good has come from public housing.”

Daniel presented the sign taken from Sofield Avenue to Burt and Emma who lived on that street.

The attendees watched as Mayor Diaz cut the ribbon and Chaplain Gregory Pabon blessed the food. Commemorative bricks were given out.

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