On June 23, 2010 after nearly a year of construction, the Borough of Allendale hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the completion of the Orchard Commons project. This extraordinary housing development, which was spearheaded by Allendale Housing, Inc., in partnership with Bergen County’s United Way, the Madeline Corporation and the New Jersey Community Development Corporation, fulfills a dream of living fuller, more independent lives for 10 special needs residents.
Residents are individuals with developmental disabilities who meet the income qualifications for State Rental Assistance Program vouchers. Eight have chosen from among the 2-bedroom units and two have selected a 1-bedroom unit. All units are on one floor and generously sized at 900 and 550 feet to accommodate residents’ needs for wheelchair accessibility, laundry and service provider support.
To encourage socialization, there is a community room that overlooks an interior courtyard created by the special configuration of the buildings and handicap accessible parking is adjacent to each. The exterior is pastoral and beautifully appointed with bits of river rock – a common feature on many homes in the Borough.
The design of the project takes advantage of its unique surroundings by incorporating views of the passive park that borders the property. The site is in a superb location because of its close proximity to a bustling downtown business district convenient for employment, transportation, recreation, and community resources and services, a tremendous benefit to residents. Additionally, the site is across the street from the police station, ambulance corps and two houses of worship
Orchard Commons was constructed on a .6340 acre site on the corner of West Orchard Street and Franklin Turnpike. A gift of property was made by the Borough of Allendale. Construction financing for the project has come from the NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (Special Needs Trust Fund), Bergen County Community Development (HOME Program), and Bergen County’s United Way. Housing subsidies have been made available by the NJ Department of Community Affairs Choice Voucher Program.
Orchard Commons is revered as a model development and is an award winning project – recipient of the Governor’s Excellence in Housing Award for Supportive Housing.