The developer of affordable housing complexes in Egg Harbor City, Cape May Court House, Rio Grande and Atlantic City has set up a toll-free phone number for those interested in applying to rent an apartment in any of them.

The Conifer Realty LLC hotline is 888-213-4958. People also can email The company asks that callers leave a name, phone number and name of the apartment community in which they are interested.

Site grading began this week at the Egg Harbor site of Conifer Village at Rittenberg, in the 500 block of Philadelphia Avenue, said Charles M. Lewis, senior vice president for Conifer Realty LLC of Mount Laurel, Burlington County, and its Rittenberg Urban Renewal Associates. It is the first of the four projects to begin construction, and the only one that is limited to people over age 62, he said.

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The block used to include the Fanny D. Rittenberg Middle School, and now will be home to 100 units of affordable senior-citizen rental housing.

To qualify to live there, the highest annual income a single person could have (at 60 percent of median income) would be $28,800, and the most a couple can have is $32,880, he said. Ninety percent of the units would be for people making 50 percent to 60 percent of median income for the region, Lewis said.

Only 10 percent of units would be for those making 30 percent of median income, which works out to less than $14,400 for an individual and less than $16,440 for a couple, he said.

The building will be complete in about a year, Lewis predicted.

Conifer also is building a 112-unit project in Rio Grande, Middle Township, that will start construction around April or May, Lewis said; and a 48-unit project in Cape May Court House is still awaiting CAFRA permits but is expected to start construction in July. The Rio Grande project will be built in two phases, with 80 units going up first, and 32 later, he said.

The company also expects to start the 90-unit final phase of the federal Hope VI project in Atlantic City in June, he said.

Conifer is planning to apply for funding and approvals for a 99-unit affordable housing complex at a 37-acre site at New York Avenue and Harding Highway in Hamilton Township, across from The Village at Hardings Run.

The company has built a 90-unit, $19 million affordable housing development for senior citizens in Lower Township, which opened in the fall of 2010.

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More than 30 years’ experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines in Illinois, Colorado, Texas and New Jersey and 1985 winner of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association’s John Murphy Award for copy editing.

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