Ocean County is the second largest county in the State in terms of land area. The County comprises more than 634 square miles. According to 1994 population estimates prepared by the County Planning Department, the County has more than 448,000 residents. The County has been one of the fastest growing counties in the State since the opening of the Garden State Parkway in the 1950's. Construction activity continues to occur at strong levels with nearly 3,000 building permits issued in 1993 for the construction of new residential units.
In 1991, the County of Ocean, an Urban County entitlement (consisting of 31 municipalities, except Brick and Dover) joined with the Townships of Brick and Dover to form a Consortium for the purpose of receiving a formula allocation under the Home Program. This year the County of Ocean, the Townships of Brick and Dover will begin their grant program year on the same date, July 1, 1995 which will better coordinate the flow of funds to provide eligible public services and project activities which will expand and improve housing and community development facilities and services for low and moderate income individuals and families in Ocean County. It includes a One-Year Action Plan for spending approximately $4.6 million of Community Development Block Grant, HOME and Emergency Shelter Grant funds in 1995.
Four public meetings were held as part of the Consolidated Planning process. The Ocean County Planning Department in conjunction with the County's Housing Advisory Committee hosted the hearings. In addition, thirty-one individual public meetings were conducted by the local governing body in an effort to provide an opportunity for public input on the CDBG program. The County followed an existing Citizen Participation Plan and adopted a new Plan which fully complies with the Consolidated Plan Final Rule. Copies of the draft document and summary information was made available for citizen review, a summary of the Consolidated Plan was published in area newspapers and an extended comment period was provided to allow for views and comments from County residents. To encourage better attendance and participation at several of the public meetings, child care services and Spanish translation services were provided.
According to the 1990 Census, the County's population is comprised of the following racial groups listed in descending order of magnitude: white - 95.3 percent, Hispanic origin - 3.2 percent, black - 2.8 percent, American Indian, Eskimo or Aleutian - .2 percent and Asian or Pacific Islander - 1 percent. The median age in Ocean County grew to 38.5 years old. The County also has a significant number of senior citizens with nearly 28 percent of the overall population over the age of 65. The unemployment rate recorded for May 1995 was 6.5 percent.
Ocean County has a total of 219,863 housing units. A total of 168,147 of the housing units are occupied, with 83 percent reported as owner occupied and 17 percent reported as renter occupied. The County's housing stock is generally new with the majority of housing constructed after 1 960. This factor lessens the threat of widespread lead-based paint issues. For the first quarter of 1995, the average sales price for new homes was $155,311 as compared to $ 135,300 for existing homes in the Monmouth and Ocean County region. These figures are somewhat skewed by the influence of the Monmouth County figures which are typically much higher in range. A significant number of households classified as owners and renters currently pay more than 30 percent of their income and in some cases more than 50 percent of their income on housing costs. The 1 995 fair market rent for the Monmouth/Ocean region include: $584 for an efficiency unit, $698 one bedroom, $885 two bedroom, $1,177 three bedroom, $1,381 four bedroom, $1,588 five bedroom and $ 1,785 for a six bedroom rental unit.
Approximately 45 percent of the land falls under the jurisdiction of the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan. Ocean County has experienced significant population growth in the last decade. According to the 1990 Census, Ocean County had a year-round population of 433,203 persons. Ocean County remained the fastest growing County in New Jersey, increasing its total population by 25.2 percent from 1980 to 1990. The annual growth rate was 2.5 percent per year. The County has grown from the llth to the 9th largest county in terms of population of the 21 counties in the State of New Jersey. Ocean County led the State in terms of population growth over the past decade.
Over the past decade, the senior population (65 years of age or over) increased by 39.8 percent representing 23.2 percent of the entire County population. Household size for the entire County has dropped from an average of 2.67 in 1980 to an average household size of 2.54 in 1990. As of 1990, there were 168,147 households in the County.
Income levels in Ocean County are low compared with many other New Jersey Counties. According to the 1990 Census, Ocean County had a median family income of $ 39,797. The State median family income was $ 47,589. Ocean County's lower median income can be attributed to the lower wage scales in the area and the high percentage of senior citizens. The poverty level in Ocean County as defined by the US Census Bureau was 6.0 percent. Municipalities with a poverty rate above 10 percent are Lakewood, Seaside Heights, and South Toms River.
The total minority concentration of the County was approximately 7 percent. The County was comprised of 95 percent Whites (non-Hispanic) with a 24 percent increase during the period 1980 - 1990. The Black (non-Hispanic) population increased 25 percent and represented 2.8 percent of the County population. The Hispanic population increased by 67.5 percent and represented 3.2 percent of the total County population. Both the Native American and Asian/Pacific Islanders represented less than 1 percent of the County population in 1990.
The largest concentrations of minorities were located in the municipalities of Lakewood Township and South Toms River Borough. The minority population of Lakewood Township totaled 11,718, or 26 percent of its total population. In South Toms River the minority population totaled 1,119, or 28.9 percent of the total. Other areas containing minority concentrations were the municipalities of Manchester, Jackson, Lakehurst and Seaside Heights. The minority population in Ocean County tended to be scattered except concentrations in the townships of Lakewood, Manchester and Jackson.
The Consortium has identified the following objectives for the five year period covered by the Consolidated Plan:
From 1980 to 1990, the total number of housing units in Ocean County increased from 173,532 to 219,863, or 26.7 percent. The majority of housing was characterized as detached single family units. Approximately 83 percent of all occupied units were owner occupied. The remaining 17 percent were occupied by renters. Due to the large-scale population growth of Ocean County that began in the 1950's, most of the housing units were new construction. Of the total units in 1990, 51,716 were classified as vacant. It is important to consider the large number of seasonal units included in the "vacant" category. The structural conditions of housing units were not presently available from the 1990 Census. The presence of lead-based paint is a housing-related environmental concern. The use of this type of paint was stopped in the late 1970's. In Ocean County, approximately 75 percent of all units were constructed before 1979.
In Monmouth and Ocean Counties, the median sales price for a new home in the fourth quarter of 1994 rose to $165,200 compared with $148,669 in fourth quarter of 1993. An existing home in the same quarter sold for $139,700 compared to $120,900 in the 4th quarter of 1993. These figures also include a portion of southern Monmouth County in the totals.
The population experiencing the most severe cost burden (paying more than 50% of income on total housing costs) are the elderly and family homeowner categories. Specific population subgroups in need of assistance included homeowners living in substandard housing, physically and disabled individuals, elderly owners and renters, and small families and single renters.
The County adopted a Continuum of Care Plan which has been incorporated into the Consortium's Consolidated Plan. The Plan describes the County's policy for assisting the homeless and special needs population. Three organizations provide emergency shelter services; Ocean's Harbor House, Providence House and St. Stephen's Church, Waretown. Each of the organizations serve a specific target population. The County Board of Social Services administers a variety of state and federally funded programs which assist homeless individuals and families. It is estimated that during 1994 a total of 13,698 individuals were assisted.
The jurisdiction's long range strategy relies on the need for permanent affordable housing, permanent supportive housing (with on-site supportive services such as child care, substance abuse treatment and counseling), expansion of existing shelter facilities (Harbor House and Providence House) and lastly the importance of prevention services which are designed to avert an individual or family from losing permanent housing.
The County Planning staff completed an inventory of affordable housing and identified a total of 3,193 assisted housing units within the County. The source of the assisted housing is classified within one of the following categories.
The County has a total of 604 public housing units located in the Townships of Berkeley, Brick and Lakewood. The Lakewood Housing Authority had a total of 268 units with no vacancies and reported that none of the units required rehabilitation. Of the 268 designated units, 206 are for senior citizens or disabled individuals, while 62 are for families. During the past several years, two (2 bedrooms) units were constructed to meet the needs of persons with disabilities. The Authority does not expect to lose any units from their inventory for any reason, including public housing demolition or conversion to homeownership. A five-year comprehensive grant for $ 1,925,510 has been awarded for modernizing of the projects.
In Lakewood, the Eleanor Levovitz Apartments is a senior citizen housing project developed under the provisions of the HUD Section 202 Program with additional Section 8 housing subsidy. The project consists of 150 units, all of which receive Section 8 subsidy. The Township also has two additional federally subsidized projects for families (non-elderly), known as Lakewood Plaza I, developed under the HUD Section 221 d(3) BMIR Program, containing 98 units and Lakewood Plaza II, developed under the HUD Section 236 Program, containing 152 units. These projects provide additional Section 8 rental subsidy for an additional 220 Lakewood households.
The Housing Authority of the Township of Brick has three (3) -public housing projects with a total of 266 units. All units are designated for senior citizens or disabled individuals. There were no vacancies, and all units conformed to the needs of disabled individual or family and were reported in good condition. In 1995, the Housing Authority was awarded a grant for $422,641 for the renovation, modernization, and maintenance of the 266 units and the surrounding property.
The Housing Authority of the Township of Berkeley has two public housing projects that total 70 units. Of the 70 public housing units reported, 25 units were available for senior citizens in a project called Magnolia Gardens. According to the housing authority, these units are in poor condition and require rehabilitation. The other 45 units are located in the Brian Kehoe Apartments.
The Lakewood Housing Authority, Lakewood Township Rental Assistance Program and the Housing Authority of the Township of Brick and NJ Department of Community Affairs have 4,077 on their existing waiting lists. Of the 4,077, 676 are awaiting public housing. Each list is arranged in a first-come, first-served order according to date and time. Federal preferences are weighted equally and include classifications of homeless, fifty percent cost burden and substandard conditions. Persons with a federal preference will be assisted prior to a person without a preference. Local preferences are assisted after federal preferences. The Section 8 waiting lists for the Lakewood Housing Authority, the Lakewood Township Rental Assistance Program and the Brick Housing Authority are closed.
The County of Ocean Consortium has made the continuing effort to expand and develop affordable housing throughout the thirty-three municipalities in Ocean County. Seventy-nine percent of the households or approximately 16,381 extremely low-income households reported that they experience housing problems. This figure was comprised of approximately 4,749 renters and 11,597 homeowners based on the percentages supplied by HUD.
Fifty four percent or 10,367 of the low income households were severely cost burdened. This figure includes 4,108 or sixty four percent of the renters and 7,158 of fifty percent of the owner households.
As of August 1, 1988, the Fair Housing Act requires that every municipality prepare a housing element as part of their municipal master plan. This housing element must address the municipalities "fair share" obligation for low and moderate income housing. All housing elements must be submitted for approval to the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH).
Production of lead-based paint was ended in 1957. Its use was banned in 1978. HUD suggests that housing constructed prior to 1978 should be studied in terms of lead-based paint hazards. However, since it is logical to assume that the majority of the existing lead- based paint stock used in the new housing industry was depleted three after production of lead-based paint ceased, the year 1960 may be a more realistic cut-off year for the consideration of lead-based paint hazards.
Of the 37,328 dwellings constructed before 1960, 2,530 are rented by extremely low income households and 3,820 are rented by low income groups. A total of 1,229 dwellings are owner occupied units owned by extremely low income households and 4,745 are owned by low income groups.
The vast majority of the dwelling units in Ocean County were constructed after 1960. Between 1960 and 1979, an additional 87,243 dwellings were constructed. The probability of these units containing lead-based paint is much less than for units constructed prior to that period. Of the 87,243 units constructed between 1960 and 1979, 2,940 are rented by extremely low income households and 6,929 are rented by low income groups.
The non-housing needs of the Urban County (31 participating municipalities) include a variety of project activities which have been ranked high, medium and low through the input of the thirty-one participating municipalities in the Urban County.
High priority activities include: removal of architectural barriers, drainage and roadway improvements, curb and sidewalk projects and relocation assistance for low income persons who may be displaced by revitalization and economic development efforts.
Medium priority activities include: rehabilitation of privately owned commercial facade improvements, economic development assistance to facilitate job creation and retention, construction/reconstruction of necessary infrastructure systems, provision of senior citizen facilities, new or expanded public services to address the County's low income population including special target populations such as veterans and persons with disabilities, rehabilitation of existing parks and playgrounds in DTN's and land acquisition for senior and community centers, day care facility and similar functions.
Low priority activities include addition or rehabilitation of facilities to house public service activities which are directed to low income persons, supportive facilities and services for homeless persons and other persons with special needs and supportive services for renters and homeowners with low income households.
The County has developed a good working relationship with public, private and non-profit organizations and groups, in a wide variety of capacities in order to increase the supply and quality of affordable housing.
There is excellent coordination among County agencies including the Office on Aging, Planning Department, Human Services, Board of Social Services, Transportation Department and this will continue to improve with anticipated federal legislation and also State legislation (Family Development Act.) The CEAS Committee provides an important linkage and troubleshooting forum for coordinating and improving the delivery of services to residents of Ocean County.
Members of the Ocean County Consortium, which includes the County of Ocean and the townships of Brick and Dover, have demonstrated a cooperative spirit in their efforts to improve both the quantity and quality of affordable housing as well as to improve community development activities that enrich the community.
The local CHAS/Consolidated Plan Committee, an advisory committee comprised of representatives of local housing authorities, social service providers, legal services, municipal and county government, and the banking and building industries have provided valuable information and feedback throughout the planning process.
The consortium will continue to forge new relationships with both the private and public sectors to leverage limited federal funds with private funds to maximize the investment in our affordable housing stock and community facilities.
The Planning department met with the County's designated anti-poverty agency (Ocean, Inc.) to discuss current program activities and plans for future activities that relate to the provision of affordable housing. the primary mission of Ocean, Inc. is to help low-income persons achieve self-sufficiency.
The Ocean County Board of Social Services provides a variety of services to address the problems of the most vulnerable residents. The family Development Resource Center provides one-stop shopping for social services and related information. The philosophy of the resource center is to provide a holistic approach.
The first Family Self-Sufficiency Program was initiated in Ocean County under the direction of the NJ Department of Community Affairs. The focus of the program is the attainment of economic self-sufficiency in order to achieve financial and emotional independence from government subsidies for primarily low-income families headed by welfare recipients. Services include case management, treatment and counseling, remedial, vocational and educational training, child care and transportation. Training in life skills as parenting, nutrition, housekeeping and budgeting is also offered. The education component includes career counseling, testing, GED classes, and job search skills.
There are several private organizations that are working on ways to ameliorate poverty. And there is a need to continue to encourage the economic development of the County so as to strengthen the job base and provide job opportunities for low and moderate income persons to enter and move up in the workforce within the county. There is a network of State, County and local organizations available to assist persons with incomes which fall below the poverty line: REACH Program, Private Industry Council, Vocational and Technical School system, the County Planning Department, and the County Office on Aging.
The total amount of funding expected to be received for fiscal year 1995 is $4,619,000. This total is derived from the following programs: HOME Program, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) entitlements, Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) and Program Income.
The organizational relationship between the Consortium and the County's three public housing agencies is advisory in nature. The County has no authority with regard to appointment of commissioners or board of the housing agency, for hiring, contracting and procurement, provisions for services funded by the jurisdiction, review by the jurisdiction of proposed development sites of the comprehensive plan of the agency and of any proposed demolition or disposition of public housing developments.
The County has worked to improve communication and cooperation between County staff and the PHA'S. Each of the three PHA's are represented on the CHAS Committee. The meetings include discussions related to strategies for addressing PHA priority needs. The three public housing authorities have received very favorable performance reports from HUD.
The Ocean County Department of Planning will continue to administer all CDBG subgrants, including the CDBG funded Housing Rehabilitation Program and the Home Program. The Planning Department will continue to serve as the liaison with the State Planning efforts, COAH, the municipalities and private and non-profit housing developers. It will continue to monitor municipal progress in meeting "fair share" obligations and to provide advisory and review functions regarding Fair Housing Act activities. The County Planning Department also employs a Fair Housing Officer who is available to handle violations and disputes and to provide public outreach regarding issues concerning Fair housing.
In 1993, the Planning Department hired an assistant planner to add additional technical support in implementing several new programs to be funded under the HOME Program. In addition, the Ocean County Department of Human Services and the Board of Social Services will continue to work toward improving the delivery and coordination of human services in the County. The Office on Aging, the Office for the Disabled and the Veteran's Bureau are also expected to continue current services for their particular populations.
The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York has established the Affordable Housing Loan Program as part of the institution's compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). This program provides below market rate loans and grants to qualified organizations involved in the production of affordable housing. This program approved funding to Ocean Housing Alliance, a designated CHDO for the acquisition of the Joan Valentine House in Point Pleasant Beach.
The County Planning Department has worked closely with local banks to create a new first time homebuyer program for low and moderate income families. Implementation of this new. program will occur during Late Spring 1995. This program will leverage mortgage funds committed by the banks with Home Program funds which will allow additional households to qualify for homeownership opportunities.
The County has worked closely with local non-profit organizations to actively encourage housing programs for low and moderate income persons. - The County has been successful in qualifying several organizations as Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDO's) including Homes for All, Inc., Ocean Inc., Rural Development Corporation, Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC) and Ocean Housing Alliance, Inc.
The County Health Department has cooperated with the Planning Department in the operation of the Lead-Based Paint testing program associated with the rehabilitation program. Another focus of the Department is the area of environmental health which includes such issues as the safety of potable drinking water and the functioning and testing of residential septic systems. Because much of the County's residents rely on well water, extension of public water supply to contaminated areas has been a high priority for CDBG funding to eligible neighborhoods.
The County has worked closely with the three public housing authorities over the past several years. This working relationship is evidenced by the participation of the PHA's on the CHAS Committee. The agencies were each surveyed recently regarding major program activities planned for the Consolidated Plan period. In addition, the Lakewood Housing Authority has administered a portion of the County's Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program under contract to the Board of Chosen Freeholders for the past three years.
The County will continue efforts to promote and improve the existing coordination activities among all levels of government including with the two entitlement cities of Brick and Dover through their participation in the Consortium specifically through the Home program. For example, the County actively consults with the municipalities of Brick and Dover in terms of the waiting list procedure for serving eligible residents under the Home Housing rehabilitation Program.
Shared Funding Approach for Projects with County-Wide Service Area Located Within Entitlement City:
An important procedural issue was raised by several non-profit organizations during the needs evaluation process for this Consolidated Plan. Several nonprofit organizations which are physically located in Dover Township requested funding consideration from the County's CDBG program. Because of the availability of CDBG funding from the Dover Township Program, the County has not funded such organizations previously. However, there is a need to evaluate a shared funding approach for projects when the service area is County- wide, yet the facility is located within the municipal boundary of a particular entitlement. The Planning Department will establish a new policy to allow consideration of this type of activity effective in FY 1996 if the proposal is consistent with the objectives and priorities established in the Consolidated Plan.
Nearly forty-six percent has been planned housing and housing services, with nearly seventeen percent planned for the removal of architectural barriers.
Ocean County Departments of Planning, Human Services, Board of Social Services, Office on Aging, Office for Disabled and the Veteran's Bureau.
|Rental Production||HOME Funds||30 people||Rental Assistance||HOME Funds||20 people||Homebuyers' Program||HOME Funds||30 people||Emergency Shelter||ESG Funds||100 people||Rehabilitation||All grant Funds||12 units||Consortium||HOME Funds||12 units||Brick Township||CDBG Funds||30 units||Dover Township||CDBG Funds||10 units||Urban County||CDBG Funds||125 units|
MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.
MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.
MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.
MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.
MAP 6 is a map, sectioned by neighborhood, which depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.
MAP 7 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within one of the two neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.
MAP 8 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within the other neighborhood indicated in MAP 6.
MAP 9 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).