GIBBSBORO – New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) executive staff joined local officials and representatives of developer Project Freedom today for a groundbreaking ceremony marking the start of 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 NJHMFA has provided Project Freedom financing, 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,” said 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,” said 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 9 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 also works with residents to secure transportation via NJ Transit’s Access Link.
Construction is anticipated 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, Inc. 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.
In October, NJHMFA participated in another groundbreaking for Freedom Village at West Windsor, which will provide 72 affordable apartments for families, including 18 for special needs residents.
Project Freedom is a Mercer County-based nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people with disabilities to live independently through housing and related support services. Leasing information will be on the website when it becomes available at www.projectfreedom.org or call (609) 278-0075.
For additional information on NJHMFA programs, visit njhousing.gov.