Supportive Housing Development Provides Affordable Housing Opportunities for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders
RAMSEY, N.J. – November 20, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III and New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) Executive Director Anthony Marchetta today highlighted the grand opening of Airmount Woods Supportive Housing, an affordable permanent supportive rental housing project in Ramsey, Bergen County, for individuals referred by the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities. The HMFA, an affiliate of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), provided approximately $924,000 in construction and permanent financing through the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund (SNHTF). The Borough of Ramsey provided $800,000 in Affordable Housing Trust Funds. Another $200,000 came from the Bergen County’s United Way and $350,000 from the Department of Human Services/DDD Capital Fund.
“Airmount Woods Supportive Housing will provide an affordable, durable, and safe living environment that is sensitive to the challenges young people with Autism Spectrum Disorders face,” said DCA Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III, who also serves as Chairman of the HMFA. “Projects like these truly help individuals with special needs live successfully in communities throughout the state.”
Airmount Woods provides nine one-bedroom housing units in two identical two-story buildings that are connected by an outdoor patio. Eight ADA-compliant units, four in each building, are reserved for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), and one unit is set-aside for supervising staff. Residents have their own unit with a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen, and share the common living and dining areas with other residents and staff. To accommodate residents with ASDs who are highly sensitive to different sensory experiences, particularly sound, construction of the buildings included sound-proof insulation, high-impact resistant drywall, tempered glass windows, fully tiled bathrooms, solid surface countertops and a number of green features. New Horizons in Autism, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving individuals with autism and their families throughout New Jersey, will provide the supportive services.
In addition to a charming exterior that is consistent with the residential character of the neighborhood, the site work at Airmount Woods features a brick patio with retaining walls and a retention basin to reduce stormwater runoff and prevent flooding and downstream erosion. Located adjacent to a commercial district on Route 17 in Ramsey, Airmount Woods is easily accessible to transportation, shopping, and community resources.
The project assists the Borough of Ramsey in meeting its affordable housing obligation, and the State and DHS to meet community housing needs for persons with disabilities under the Olmstead Plan, DDD’s plan for transitioning individuals with developmental disabilities out of developmental centers and into more independent living communities.
“I am thrilled that HMFA provided the significant capital financing necessary to enable the development of this project. In doing so, we are enhancing quality of life for all in our New Jersey communities, most especially individuals with special needs,” said HMFA Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta. “We commend the Borough of Ramsey for their leadership and we look forward to welcoming the eight new residents of Airmount Woods.”
The Special Needs Housing Trust Fund, established through the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund Act of 2005 and administered by the HMFA, provides capital financing to create affordable, permanent supportive housing and community residences as alternatives to institutional or homelessness for special needs individuals.
For more information, visit the HMFA website at www.njhousing.gov or call 1-800-NJ-HOUSE or (609) 278-7400.