Homes on opposite sides of Brick are one step closer to becoming the property of a nonprofit organization that will turn them into housing for disabled persons.
The homes are located at 481 Drum Point Road and 425 Herbertsville Road.
The plan to turn the properties, both township-owned, into affordable housing for the disabled has been underway for years, but this week the township council voted in favor of removing a reverter clause in the properties’ deeds that prevented the nonprofit, Enable Homes Inc., from getting public financing for the project.
A reverter clause is a legal mechanism that allows a property to revert back to its previous owner if certain conditions are not met, or if certain actions trigger it. In the case of these two properties, the reverter clause would have come into effect if the properties were used for another purpose than affordable housing.
In order for Enable Homes to receive money from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, which will be used to rehabilitate the properties, the deed is required to be free of such a clause.
“This is to enable, to allow, Enable Homes Inc. to get financing to construct these facilities,” explained Township Attorney Kevin Starkey.
The council approved a resolution terminating the reverter clause and replacing it with a deed restriction that, likewise, requires the home to be used for affordable housing for at least 30 years.
The 30 year aspect prompted some concern from residents, who questioned what would happen after the period was up.
“Later on it could just be for affordable, not for disabled,” said resident George Scott.
“It’s difficult for us to predict exactly what will be needed down the road,” replied Business Administrator Joanne Bergin.
Casey Duffy, a representative from Homes Now Inc., which is also involved in the project, said the organization is looking to close on the funding within two weeks, and confirmed the property will be used to house disabled residents.
“It’s part of the special needs initiative with the state,” she said. “It will stay as housing for the disabled through the 30 year deed restriction or until the funding is lost.”