The new Project Freedom complex in Town Center South is almost complete.
The 72-unit housing complex will provide apartments affordable to families, as well as supportive housing for special needs residents. It’s the second Project Freedom development in Robbinsville—the township is the first municipality in the state with multiple locations.
“Robbinsville is excited to be the first town in New Jersey to have a second Project Freedom,” said Paul Renaud, the township’s acting director of community development. “We were the first to have one, and now we’re the first to have a second. It means a lot to us in Robbinsville to have the ability to claim those firsts.”
Project Freedom, a Mercer County-based nonprofit organization, develops and operates barrier-free housing to enable individuals with disabilities to live independently.
One of the development’s buildings was occupied as of Feb. 1.
Robbinsville’s first Project Freedom development, in Foxmoor, provides housing for individuals with disabilities and their families. The newest iteration is a mix of low and moderate income housing, as well as units for those with special needs.
The development includes four three-story buildings and a community center to provide one-to three-bedroom apartments for families with incomes up to 50% of the area median income.
Every unit, though, also provides barrier-free living—that includes roll-in showers, lowered countertops and wider walkways.
“Everything is designed to meet those needs,” Renaud said. “But that doesn’t mean that someone who has those needs has to live there.”
The new development is located across the street from the original Town Center—Renaud said nearby access to shops and restaurants was something the township and Project Freedom considered when the complex was in the initial planning stages.
“It was important to us to have Project Freedom in an accessible area,” he said. “I wasn’t around when the original was planned, but at that time, we had Foxmoor Shopping Center with Marazzo’s. They took that to heart when we approached them with Town Center. Some other locations in town that we looked at were not feasible based on services around those areas. Town center was a great place to put Project Freedom—there’s a bank, Dolce and Clemente, shops and whatnot. It really was an integral part of the decision making.”
The development was funded in part by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. Freedom Village at Robbinsville is the tenth project for which NJHMFA has provided Project Freedom financing, resulting in the development of over 500 affordable apartments throughout Mercer, Ocean, Burlington, Camden and Salem counties.
“We are very pleased to once again be working with Project Freedom to create affordable homes for families and for residents with special needs,” said NJHMFA Executive Director Charles A. Richman. “The development of supportive homes that provide for independent living is a key component of NJHMFA’s mission to enable residents with special needs to fully integrate in the community.”
Renaud said the township is excited to continue its relationship with Project Freedom.
“Robbinsville’s officials, residents and the mayor quite often talk about the ‘Robbinsville bubble,’” he said. “This is a community that likes to see each other grow. We are an inclusive town. We’re the first to have a Project Freedom development, the first to have a second one, I believe we’ll be the first town in Mercer County to have an inclusive playground. We want to provide all aspects of living for all residents, no matter their ability. That’s what the administration, council and residents want to see.”
For more information, visit projectfreedom.org.