DCA & HMFA Celebrate the Grand Opening on Affordable Housing Community in Woodstown, Salem County

Freedom Village Will Enable Individuals with Disabilities to Live Independently


WOODSTOWN, N.J. – Representatives of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) joined local officials today to celebrate the completion of Freedom Village, an affordable housing community located on Woodstown-Alloway Road in Woodstown. The HMFA, an affiliate of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), provided $2 million in permanent financing to the project from the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund and also awarded federal tax credits and tax credit subsidies. The DCA committed housing vouchers from the State Rental Assistance Program to assist with the project's operations.

"In today's challenging economy, it is important to provide housing options for the people of New Jersey, especially to those in need of supportive services," said DCA Commissioner Lori Grifa. "Our unique collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Human Services allows us to finance affordable housing for individuals with developmental disabilities." 

Freedom Village features a total of 60 apartments of which 10 units will be set aside for individuals who are developmentally disabled and have been referred by the New Jersey Department of Human Services' Division of Developmental Disabilities. Another 10 units will be set aside for individuals from the general population in need of accessible living arrangements. These 20 set-aside units will be affordable to individuals whose income is at or below 20 percent of the area median income (AMI). The remaining 40 units will be targeted to people whose income is at or below 60 percent AMI.

Freedom Village has a barrier-free living design. Elevators, doorways, hallways, kitchens, windows, showers, and laundry facilities accommodate people in wheelchairs. There are 12 one-bedroom, 36 two-bedroom and 12 three-bedroom apartments in the community. Project amenities include a community center, lounge and activity space, and multipurpose meeting rooms.

"Individuals in need of supportive services often find it difficult to make ends meet. It is extremely important for us to provide affordable housing options such Freedom Village," said HMFA Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta. "The HMFA is pleased to provide the capital financing that enabled the development of this project and present a better living experience for the residents of Salem County."

In addition to capital financing from the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund, the HMFA awarded federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which will generate approximately $5.7 million in private equity. The project also received approximately $8 million in subsidy from the Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP) and the Tax Credit Exchange Program (TCX) that was made available to the HMFA through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The Special Needs Housing Trust Fund is administered by the HMFA and provides capital financing to create permanent supportive housing and community residences for individuals with special needs, with priority given to individuals with mental illness. The purpose of the fund is to develop special needs housing and residential opportunities as alternatives to institutionalization or homelessness for those who would benefit from these programs and to ensure the long-term viability of such housing.

HMFA is also the administrator of federal tax credit programs for New Jersey. Low Income Housing Tax Credits are a dollar-for-dollar reduction in federal tax liability and act as a catalyst to attract private investment into the affordable housing market. TCAP and TCX credits are designed to activate affordable housing construction stalled by the economic downturn.

Freedom Village was developed by Project Freedom, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Robbinsville that develops and operates barrier-free housing to enable individuals with disabilities to live independently.

For more information on HMFA programs, please call 1-800-NJHOUSE or (609) 278-7400, or log on to www.nj-hmfa.com. For more information on the State Rental Assistance Program, please log on to www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/srap.html on the DCA website.