Kershaw Commons at Freehold Provides 30 Fully Handicapped Accessible Housing Units
FREEHOLD TWP, N.J. – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lori Grifa today joined local officials and project developers to celebrate the completion of Kershaw Commons, a special needs housing community specifically designed for residents with Multiple Sclerosis. The community, located on Applewood Drive, is the first of its kind in New Jersey to be fully accessible to individuals living with MS. The DCA and New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA), a DCA affiliate, committed funding for the project.
"People suffering with Multiple Sclerosis are often relegated to nursing homes and other institutions because they cannot live on their own. Kershaw Commons has changed that dynamic by helping 30 MS patients live as independently as possible," said DCA Commissioner Lori Grifa, who is Chair of the HMFA. "I am pleased that my Department and the HMFA were able to make this important housing community a reality."
Kershaw Commons includes 31 housing units, with 30 of them set aside for people with Multiple Sclerosis. There are 25 one-bedroom units and 6 two-bedroom units, one of which is reserved for an on-site superintendent. The building is fully handicapped accessible and includes accessibility features selected specifically to meet the needs of individuals with MS, including automatic light sensors and door openers, wheelchair accessible door widths, corridor railings, and transfer showers.
Regan Development Corporation, a housing construction firm based in Ardsley, NY, that specializes in special needs housing developed the project. The support services provider is the New Jersey Metro Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which has dedicated a professional services coordinator to help residents with their MS-related questions and arranging their care plan. Additional social services such as money management and entrepreneurial programs will be coordinated by the Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey, a non-profit organization that offers community-based services to adults with special needs.
"The HMFA is pleased to provide the capital financing that enabled the development of this project, which presents a better living experience for residents living with Multiple Sclerosis," said HMFA Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta. "Kershaw Commons is a wonderful example of the good that can come out of public-private partnerships. It also demonstrates that even in times of economic hardship, supportive affordable housing can be successfully developed."
Through a combination of Special Needs Housing Trust Fund dollars and bond-financed mortgage funding, the HMFA provided $3.9 million in permanent construction financing for Kershaw Commons. The HMFA also awarded the project federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which generated approximately $7 million in private equity. Additionally, the Monmouth County Division of Social Services, a local Section 8 Housing Authority, committed project-based rental assistance vouchers for all 30 special needs apartments for a term of 30 years. As a result of the vouchers, it is anticipated that residents will pay 30 percent of their income for housing expenses, which will include rent and utility costs.
Kershaw Commons is located less than a mile from CentraState Medical Center’s Multiple Sclerosis Center and the MS Wellness Center.
For more information on HMFA programs and mortgages, please call 1-800-NJHOUSE or 609-278-7400, or log on to www.nj-hmfa.com.