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May 14, 2021

New Horizons Inc. 22-unit apartment project almost fully funded

Rendering | Contributed A rendering of New Horizons Village in Farmington with a planned new 22-unit residential apartment complex.

Farmington’s New Horizons Village hopes to begin laying foundation for a 22-unit apartment complex this fall, as the nonprofit has nearly all its funding in place for the estimated $7.4 million project.

The state Bond Commission last month approved $2.2 million in bond funding for the project, and New Horizons is currently waiting for a $500,000 state housing tax credit, New Horizons Inc. CEO Carol Fitzgerald said. Once that money comes in, the project will be fully funded, and New Horizons can begin seeking bids from prospective contractors.

"The last piece is a tax credit… all the rest of the money has been spoken for," Fitzgerald said.  

Fitzgerald said she hopes to start sending requests for proposals by late-summer, and laying foundation before winter. If that timeline works out, Fitzgerald said the project could be completed by the end of next year.

New Horizons Inc. opened the 26-acre New Horizons Village in Farmington's Unionville section 35 years ago to provide housing with support services for people with physical disabilities who want to live independently. It has 68 housing units built to be accessible for 101 disabled tenants, about two-thirds of whom shared a dwelling.

Fitzgerald said she wants to invert the current single-to-double ratio so two-thirds of New Horizon clients have private units. That’s why the approximately $20-million-a-year nonprofit with 225 employees — including about 50 at the New Horizons Village complex on Bliss Memorial Road — plans to build the new 22-unit residential complex on its campus.

New Horizons Village operates much like any apartment building, as opposed to a nursing home, Fitzgerald said. Units have features like wheelchair-accessible sinks, showers and light switches. Amenities like transportation are offered, but tenants pay their own bills, do their own shopping and live independent lives. But almost everyone who moves in has to start off in a shared unit because the wait list for a single apartment is between 15 and 20 years.

That delay is unacceptable today, said Fitzgerald, who also stressed the pandemic has demonstrated the need for most New Horizons residents to have their own apartment.

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