Speitel Commons will offer new affordable housing to seniors who qualify. By MADDY VITALEQuality construction and immaculate units await residents of the Ocean City Housing Authority who will be moving into Speitel Commons.“We met with the administrative team and the construction team. We spent an hour in the building from the top to bottom floors,” Ocean City Housing Authority Vice Chairman Scott Halliday said during an OCHA Zoom meeting Tuesday. “We were impressed by the quality of work, the professionalism. It is clean. I really enjoyed the visit.”OCHA Chairman Bob Barr, who is also president of the City Council, said he also toured the building but virtually on Friday.“I sat for 10 minutes across the street and I shared with Jackie Jones (OCHA executive director) and Scott (Halliday), that it is so clean and professional. They are to be commended,” Barr said of the contractor.The work to the $7 million affordable housing complex for seniors at Sixth Street and West Avenue is being done under the supervision of the general contractor, Gary F. Gardner Inc. of Medford, N.J.“I hear the siding is going up today as we speak,” Jones noted during the afternoon meeting.Speitel Commons is a 32-unit project being built next to the authority’s Bayview Manor housing complex.The building is named in honor of the late Edmond C. Speitel Sr., a housing authority commissioner who helped to oversee the project from the conceptual phase.Speitel Commons will replace the flood-prone Pecks Beach Village senior housing on Fourth Street.Senior citizens who now live in the authority’s flood-prone Pecks Beach Village housing complex on Fourth Street will be moved over to the Speitel Commons building when it is completed.While the construction has gone smoothly, housing authority officials noted, there have been delays due to weather and construction of the three elevators, the May 1 target date has been pushed back until the end of May.Commissioners approved a resolution for the Speitel Commons project extension.From the beginning of the project, there have been some rain delays. Specifically, there have been 18 rain days since the work began. The contractor is asking for a May 31 completion date, Jones said.Commissioner Beverly McCall asked about the status of the elevators since that was another reason for a delay in the project.The company that will install the elevators in the three-story building indicated that the pandemic is slowing down production at its factory and that could cause a delay with its work in Ocean City, the authority reported in its meeting in January.Schindler Elevator Corp. was originally supposed to begin working at the site in late February or early March, but now says it may not start until late April due to COVID-related delays.“Is there any update on the elevators that we talked about the last meeting?” McCall asked.“Last I heard, they were moving forward in a positive direction,” Halliday responded.The Ocean City Housing Authority provides affordable housing for senior citizens, families and the disabled. Ocean City residents, the elderly and people with disabilities are given preference for the authority’s housing.Funding for the project is coming from the city and the New Jersey Housing Mortgage and Finance Agency.The project takes up the corner of Sixth Street and West Avenue and is next to Bayview Manor.In 2019, City Council approved a $6.6 million bond ordinance to build or rehabilitate affordable housing sites for senior citizens and low-income families. The projects will help Ocean City meet its state-mandated obligation to provide its “fair share” of affordable housing as part of a court settlement in 2018.The city is expected to contribute more than $2 million toward the Speitel Commons project, while the New Jersey Housing Mortgage and Finance Agency is providing $4.5 million in funding.In addition to the construction of Speitel Commons, the authority also discussed renovations to Bayview Manor, specifically, the roof replacement.Jones noted that like the delay with Speitel Commons construction, the weather has impacted the ability to do the roof work. The authority approved a resolution to extend the completion of the roof from March 1 to March 31.“We awarded the roof replacement and we ran into some bad weather,” Jones said. “We have a resolution to extend the time for that job for the end of March. We are still working on the project as well as the replacement of the electrical panels. The team is moving forward.”Halliday added about the extension of the roof work, “I want to make a point there is zero cost impact.”Barr asked, “Do we think we will have enough time to get this done?”Jones replied, “If they can’t get it done by the end of March, we will ask for another extension.”However, the roof work is expected to begin next week and the authority officials said they are hopeful it will be completed by mid-March.A new roof will be installed at Bayview Manor by the end of March.