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City Council Approves $500K Grant For Hoboken YMCA

The funding will help the organization finish 76 units of affordable housing.

The city council Wednesday night approved a grant to help the Hoboken YMCA complete a $15 million affordable housing project.

The grant for up to $500,000 will help furnish 76 new single-room efficiency units, in addition to the 20 men who are already housed at the facility.

Paul Somerville, President of the Board of Trustees of the Hoboken-North Hudson YMCA, said it reflects the city's committment to supporting the cash-strapped organization's mission.

"Had we not gone forward with this project, there would not still be a YMCA in town," he said. "We would have been forced to sell our building."

In March 2010, the organization abruplty suspended its health and family services. The fitness center remains closed.

The grant for the project will come from the city's $2 million affordable housing settlement with a development firm.

The unanimous vote by the council was preceeded by a long debate over the merits of taking half a million dollars out of the fund.

Councilman Tim Occhipinti called it a "government bailout."

"This money is coming from a settlement the city has obtained to create new opportunities for affordable housing where your organization is charged with completing a project you've already undertaken," Occhipinti said.

Somerville said the funds were needed to complete the project which faced $2 million in cost overruns from changes in the economy and requirements from investors. The YMCA's boiler was damaged during Hurricane Sandy and will cost $9,000 to replace.

Councilman David Mello said awarding the grant would guarantee more units in the city's shrinking affordable housing stock.

"We have an organization saying they will provide affordable housing for 76 more people than is being provided today," Mello said.

The units will be filled through a lottery system. Applications are still available at the Hoboken-North Hudson YMCA at 1301 Washington Street.

ThisMeansWar December 06, 2012 at 11:12 AM
At least Tim stopped short of saying "Are there no workhouses?"
Captain Kirk December 06, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Doesn't this amount to state sponsorship of religion. I mean this is a Christian organization as the name indicates. Support from the Viallage People aside, I don't think tax dollars should be supporting the church.
recallbethmason December 06, 2012 at 06:10 PM
this was a bad choice of taxpayer monies. my taxes should be used for city purposes only...
Ojo Rojo December 06, 2012 at 07:55 PM
It is from a $2mm legal settlement from a developer for the provision of affordable housing, not from your taxes. At least that is what it says in the article.
demosthenes December 06, 2012 at 08:00 PM
If I'm reading the story correctly, the money is coming from a special fund that can only be used for affordable housing. I'd way rather give the money to the Y than give it what passes for affordable housing elsewhere in this town.
tony December 06, 2012 at 10:07 PM
The money is coming from profit making development and not local taxes. A special fund as a settlement from a developer the an ex mayor's wife sold real estate for. The Y unlike Church Towers or Marineview does not get an annual tax subsidy by the City of Hoboken. I might add, you can't live at the Y with a 6 figure income or a criminal record either.
Captain Kirk December 06, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Well if the city had won a lawsuit with a developer then those funds are part of the city's treasury just as surely as if they had come from taxes. No? I don't see how that should make a difference. Now, the city provide's a police presence for St. Ann's. City Hall will light a menorah this week. I dont have a problem with any of that. None of these boundries are absolute. Handing over 500K out of the city coffers to a religious organization is something else entirely.
Enough December 07, 2012 at 12:23 AM
If the YMCA is still a non-profit organization, then they absolutely get an annual tax subsidy from the City of Hoboken.
tony December 07, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Sorry Captain, wrong. It is not a religious organization when it comes to selecting residents. And the money can ONLY BE USED for Housin
Ojo Rojo December 07, 2012 at 12:38 AM
It is part of a fund that can be used only for affordable housing. It is not money in the general treasury that can be used for things like payroll, parks, street repair or any of the many things your taxes go towards paying for.
PeoplePlease December 07, 2012 at 02:03 PM
As the YMCA becomes functional, I'd like to see the city/police do more to get those that decide to sleep and live on the streets, off the streets.
recallbethmason December 08, 2012 at 04:09 AM
I stand corrected...thank you for the clarifications.
tony December 08, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Enough, you are wrong. As a Non Profit, the tax subsidy would come from the federal government. Also, the same people that reluctantly voted FOR this after causing havoc throughout the discussion, who called it a bailout and subsidy, also complained that the Yoga and Gym programs were not returned. So I'm confused, they don't want a "bailout" for the homeless, unless the Y offers wealthy residents Yoga and Mommy and Me programs and a new affordable gym?
tony December 08, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Also any local subsidy to provide housing to the homeless is far less than the subsidy The City of Hoboken is giving to over the income limits in Marineview and Church Towers who are in The real estate business and have million dollar houses at the beach

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