New construction under way in Asbury Park

City officials gathered Thursday to celebrate the groundbreaking of new affordable housing construction in Asbury park, but not all those in attendance were ready to put on their party hats.

The 20 new homes are slated to be built on Avenue A, an area that has long been economically depressed. While the deputy mayor says the mortgage payments in the newly constructed homes would cost less than renting, some residents say the income requirements to obtain a home are too high for the area. Residents say the three non-profit groups behind the construction of the new homes are not helping locals. Residents also say first preference should be given to those displaced by the redevelopment. According to city officials, the applicants are from Asbury Park. They say all names will be put in a public lottery to be drawn in late spring.

A $2.5 million state grant helped make the project possible.

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