By Ian Bush

FREEHOLD, NJ (CBS) — It’s the second apartment building in the country built from the ground up for those with multiple sclerosis, and it’s now open in New Jersey.

Kershaw Commons features 31 apartments, both one- and two-bedrooms, that are “100-percent accessible.”

Lori Grifa, Commissioner of the State Department of Community Affairs, says it was built to help younger adults avoid places like nursing homes if they need a wheelchair around the house.

“We have a class of people who may be in their 20s or 30s and are otherwise fully functioning, but for their disease and their health condition, who are living among 80-year-olds because there’s nothing in between,” Grifa explains.

She says the apartment building’s location, on Applewood Drive in Freehold, Monmouth County near the Multiple Sclerosis Center at CentraState Hospital, is key.

“Not only do these people have ability to live in a community in which they can support each other, they also have great access to the independent living programs run by the hospital, and also to their doctors,” Grifa says.

The rooms have wide doors, hard floors, light sensors, easy shower access, and slide-out shelves in kitchens and closets.

They start around $1000 a month. The apartments are spoken for, but Grifa says groups are looking at a second site in the state.

Reported by Ian Bush, KYW Newsradio

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