By MADDY VITALE
The Ocean City Community Development Corp., a nonprofit entity created by the city’s housing authority, held its first meeting Tuesday with a major project to discuss on the agenda — the construction of 10 affordable rental homes.
The authority and city will work together to build rentals in areas around town, selected by the city.
Rick Ginnetti, owner of the Brooke Group, the authority’s development consultant, will seek $2 million through a grant application to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs to help finance the homes.
The Ocean City Community Development Corp. was created by the housing authority in 2017 but never used. The nonprofit is being revived to apply for the money and to meet the legal requirements imposed by the DCA on the grant, officials said.
The estimated cost of the project is $3.3 million.
Jacqueline Jones, the housing authority’s executive director, said during the remote board meeting Tuesday that the city would provide the gap funding.
The resolution approved at the meeting is for “Two million dollars to assist in the funding to build the units,” Jones explained. “The city will provide the additional funds that are needed.”
Jones said there is an RFP (Request for Proposals) for an architect. “It is moving along, and we will see,” she added.
She said that the hope is by next month there will be an architect selected, renderings will be available and then the entity will procure a builder.
Scott Halliday, vice chairman of the authority, asked, “What is the time frame for the grant application and the approval? How long are we talking?”
Jones said there is no exact time frame, but that there are funds available.
“There is money. It is available. We were concerned they would pull the funds (due to COVID-19) but right now they are there.”
Board member Patrick Mumman asked if the affordable housing sites were selected already.
“The sites are under the control of the city,” Jones noted.
The authority will develop and manage the homes.
It is unclear if prevailing wage requirements would lead to an increase in the project cost, officials said.
Jones said she had a meeting with City Solicitor Dorothy McCrosson about the project and the wage requirements.
Authority Chairman Bob Barr asked about the prevailing wage.
“No one has a real handle on it, but the city solicitor is looking into it. We actually had a meeting today about it and how it would affect the budget. She would have something in the next week or two,” Jones said of McCrosson.
Halliday and other board members commended the administration for the “ease at which they have been going through projects.”
“Hats off to the administration for guiding us through,” he said.
Barr also commended the administration including Jones, the authority’s solicitor Charles Gabage and Ginnetti.
“Jackie and Charlie have been aces since day one,” he said, adding that they worked seamlessly. “You should be commended for the hard work, not only for the authority side, but the city side.”
Barr said of Ginnetti, “Rick Ginnetti is a genius at the things he can do. One reason I was so confident was because we have Rick Ginnetti. Today marks just another notch along the way for a remarkable story.”