Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Affordable Apartments, with Space for Special Needs Adults, Launched in Gibbsboro, NJ

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
Freedom Village at Gibbsboro is getting underway, a new 72-unit affordable apartment complex for families, which will include 18 units for residents with special needs.

Freedom Village at Gibbsboro is the ninth project for which the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency has provided financing to developer Project Freedom, resulting in the development of over 500 affordable units throughout Mercer, Ocean, Burlington, Camden and Salem counties.
“People with special needs face extraordinary life challenges.  Finding an affordable place to live should not be one of them,” says Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, who also serves as commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs and chair of the NJHMFA board. “This project upholds the administration’s promise to help residents most in need find an affordable, accessible, and permanent home in New Jersey.”

The development, to be built on a seven-acre tract on South Lakeview Drive (County Route 561), will include four L-shaped, three-story buildings and a community center.

Fifty-four apartments are targeted for families with low-to-moderate incomes up to 60% of the area median income. Ten units will be set aside for developmentally disabled residents, and eight apartments are designated for residents who are consumers of mental health services.
The one- to three-bedroom rental units will all be wheelchair accessible and feature wider doors and hallways, an open floor design, accessible kitchens, some bathrooms with bathtubs and some with roll-in showers.

“We are proud of our long partnership with Project Freedom to provide homes that are not only affordable to working families but especially to residents with special needs,” says NJHMFA executive director Charles A. Richman. “Project Freedom’s commitment to barrier-free living enables residents with special needs to fully integrate into the community.”

NJHMFA awarded the $19.1 million development competitive nine percent federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which are expected to generate $13.3 million in private equity. Additional funding comes from TD Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank and Investors Bank.

The development will be within walking distance of businesses and amenities and is encircled by the Gibbsboro Greenway. Project Freedom also provides scheduled bus trips to area shopping centers and other nearby amenities, and works with residents to secure transportation via NJ Transit’s Access Link.

Construction is expected to be complete by December 2019, with rents ranging from $681 to $945. Each developmentally disabled resident will have a service provider for necessary support. Service providers are selected by the consumer, and the services are individualized to meet the needs of each resident.  South Jersey Behavioral Health Resources will provide supportive services for residents with mental health disabilities. Project Freedom will be providing educational training and employment opportunities to all tenants at no cost through the Opportunities for All program.

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