The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) has broken ground on Freedom Village at Gibbsboro, a 72-unit affordable apartment community for families in Gibbsboro, N.J. The property will offer 18 housing units for special-needs residents.
The development will feature four L-shaped, three-story buildings and a community center, constructed on a seven acre tract on S. Lakeview Drive, County Route 561. Ten units will be set aside for developmentally disabled residents, and eight apartments are tabbed for residents who are mental health care service consumers. The remaining 54 apartments are designated for families with low-to-moderate incomes up to 60 percent of the area median income.
The one- to three-bedroom apartments will be wheelchair accessible and will incorporate wider doors and hallways, an open-floor design and accessible kitchens. Some bathrooms will have bathtubs, and some will feature roll-in showers.
Encircled by greenway
Freedom Village at Gibbsboro represents the ninth project for which NJHMFA has furnished Project Freedom financing. Taken together, the projects have brought more than 500 affordable units to Mercer, Ocean, Burlington, Camden and Salem Counties.
“When acquiring a site, Project Freedom’s Development Team is seeking a municipal donation of land,” spokeswoman Amy Palmer told MHN. “Some towns own municipal land, and they donate it to the affordable housing project, and other towns use money from their Affordable Housing Trust Fund to purchase the land and donate it.”
The development site is encircled by the Gibbsboro Greenway and is within walking distance to businesses and amenities. Project Freedom, a non-profit housing developer, works with residents to obtain transportation through NJ Transit’s Access Link. The organization also furnishes scheduled bus trips to local shopping centers and other amenities.
“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, anticipated to generate $13.3 million in private equity. Additional funding comes from TD Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank and Investors Bank.
Launch of construction at Freedom Village follows on the heels of the October groundbreaking for Freedom Village at West Windsor, to include 72 affordable apartments for families, including 18 for special needs residents.
“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.”
Construction is slated for completion by December 2019. Rents will extend from $681 to $945. Each disabled resident will have a service provider for necessary support.
In November, NJHMFA kicked off Phase II of the redevelopment of Branch Village Townhomes, an outdated public housing property with 72 units in Camden, N.J.
Rendering courtesy of NJHMFA