The Asbury Park Housing Authority has received approval to demolish the Boston Way apartments [shown above].
Approval came from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Special Application Center, according to a statement released by Tyrone Garrett, interim executive director of the Asbury Park Housing Authority.
“Within thirty seconds of receiving the demolition approval,” Garrett’s office applied for relocation vouchers from the Newark field office for the approximately 73 families currently living in the complex, he said.
“This is a great day for all the residents of Boston Way Village,” Garrett said. “We will move with all deliberate speed to relocate the families from the complex.”
He hopes to receive the vouchers within the next 30 to 45 days.
The vouchers allow current tenants to relocate anywhere in the country that accepts them. When the new housing complex is built on the Boston Way site, each former tenant will receive a letter in the mail giving them the first right of refusal.
Garrett is also the executive director of the Long Branch Housing Authority. The Long Branch office is currently under contract to handle the Asbury Park Housing Authority until May of 2014.
Based on his previous experience with several redevelopment projects in Long Branch, Garrett says his office will create “a smooth relocation plan and offer mobility counseling” for current tenants. “We do a little hand-holding with it,” he said.
Families that qualify may also receive up to $1,000 in relocation assistance funds depending on their current bedroom size, Garrett said.
He hopes to have all of the families relocated within the next six to 10 months, but understands the relocation process “is difficult and sometimes frustrating” for families, he said.
The Administration has already advertised for development partners interested in working with the authority in redeveloping the current Boston Way site, which consists of 123 one- to four-bedroom units, Garrett said.
It is the administration’s goal to redevelop the site into one of the most desirable mixed income communities in the state of New Jersey, consisting of not just affordable housing units, but ”a mix of home ownership units along with market rate units,” he said.
“We’re pretty excited to improve the quality of life for residents,” said Garrett.
“I think it’s great news,” said Councilman John Moor. “Those buildings are totally shot.”