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Homes by TLC, HomeFront, and Lennar recently celebrated the grand opening of 26 new units of affordable homes for low-income and working local families, located within Lennar’s Hopewell Parc residential development on Scotch Road in Hopewell. 

This collaboration marks the 23rd affordable housing project for Homes by TLC, a local agency dedicated to constructing, developing, and operating affordable homes for working families, in partnership with HomeFront, a Lawrence-based nonprofit committed to ending homelessness and breaking the cycle of poverty. 

Homes by TLC founding Executive Director Celia Bernstein said Friday it was exciting to have 26 new apartments that are ready for low-income working families to move into. 

“Our partnership with Lennar could not have gone better and we are humbled by the support from our generous donors and Wells Fargo,” Bernstein said.  

Working families living in the 26 affordable apartments will pay no more than 30% of their income on rent, according to HomeFront. The new three-story apartment building complex contains four one-bedroom units, 16 two-bedroom units, and six three-bedroom units. 

Under this partnership, HomeFront provides wraparound services to the families selected to live in these affordable apartments, including job training, support for children, life skills, access to groceries and necessities and much more.  

At the official Hopewell Parc ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 17, HomeFront CEO Sarah Steward said that Homes TLC and HomeFront are in the business of hope and convincing people that all things are possible. 

“Days like today get me so excited because I don’t have to try and convince somebody it’s possible, you can see it,” Steward told the attendees at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “You are standing in the shadow of what is possible and that is a very gratifying place to be in with all of you who helped make that possible today.” 

The project is a successful collaboration between the nonprofit and private sectors to address the critical need for affordable housing in the region, she said. Through innovative design, sustainable construction practices, and a shared commitment to community welfare, Homes by TLC, HomeFront and Lennar are delivering solutions that combat housing insecurity and homelessness.  

Mitchell Newman, vice president of Land for Lennar’s NJ/NY Division said Lennar has been honored to have the opportunity to partner with Homes by TLC and HomeFront. 

“This was a cooperative public-private effort involving the township, the county, and many other governmental agencies to make this happen,” Newman said. 

For a family to afford a modest two-bedroom home in Mercer County they must earn an hourly wage of $33.50, far more than the state’s average wage of $24.40 or the current minimum wage of $15.13, according to this year’s annual Out of Reach report conducted by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition. At minimum wage, a person would need to work 95 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment at the fair market rent of $1,742. 

Private anonymous donors, along with support from the Wells Fargo Foundation, made it possible to make this project a reality. 

“As the Bank of Doing, Wells Fargo is addressing housing affordability from every angle,” said Wanda Saez, Lead Community Impact & Sustainability Specialist for Wells Fargo in New Jersey.  

“We believe everyone deserves an opportunity to have a safe, healthy and affordable place to call home. That is why we are so proud of our partnership with Homes by TLC. Together, we are doing the work to move people into quality homes, like this facility in Hopewell Parc,” she said. 

 Photo caption: (L-R) Sarah Steward, HomeFront CEO; Kim Shivers, Tenacre Foundation; Jane Hallett; Hopewell Township Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning; Sangita Karra, Wells Fargo; Celia Bernstein, Homes by TLC Executive Director; David Chait, Hopewell Township Committee; Wanda Saez, Wells Fargo; Matthew & Suki Wasserman; Martha Lamar, Homes by TLC; State Senator Shirley Turner; HomeFront Founder Connie Mercer. – Photo courtesy of HomeFront.