United Way | United Way to seek approval from Oradell to build housing for people with special needs
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United Way to seek approval from Oradell to build housing for people with special needs

By Stephanie Noda, NorthJersey.com
Originally published Feb. 15, 2021

 

Tom Toronto, President of Bergen County’s United Way, sorts through PPE and sanitizer in Paramus to distribute to group homes on May 4, 2020. NorthJersey.com

 

ORADELL — An application to build housing near the downtown for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities may be making its way to the borough this spring.

Bergen County United Way, a social services organization that has built housing for those with developmental and intellectual disabilities in other North Jersey towns, is looking to present an application before the Planning Board in the coming months. The group announced its desire to bring the housing to Oradell last year.

If approved, a 5,000-square-foot single-family-style house would be built on Genther Avenue, two blocks from the business district on Kinderkamack Road, and house seven individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, such as Down syndrome, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and autism.

A rendering of a proposed special needs housing on Genther Avenue in Oradell

 

The facility would have four bedrooms for people who require 24-hour care and two independent-living apartments. One of the apartments might become a two-bedroom, meaning the facility could potentially house seven people.

The design would be similar to other Bergen County United Way/Madeline Housing Partners projects in Allendale, Glen Rock, Harrington Park, Mahwah, Montvale, Ramsey and Tenafly.

Melanie Weisberg, a borough resident, has been at the forefront of efforts to bring United Way housing to town for the past seven years. Her son David, 29, has Cohen syndrome and has been living at the Tenafly United Way house for years, Weisberg said. In addition to a learning disability, he is slowly losing his vision.