New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency
Special Needs Application
Best Methods Design Questionnaire
As a long term partner in every project it finances, the Agency has a vested interest in buildings
that are high quality, energy and resource efficient, appropriate for the community, and
designed with the end user’s special needs in mind. To this end, the Agency has developed
this Best Methods Design Questionnaire. The Questionnaire will walk the applicant and their
design team through a series of design issues that must be considered and addressed in order
for the project to receive funding. All Special Needs Housing applicants must review the
Questionnaire as part of the application process and complete it prior to commitment. PLEASE
COMPLETE AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE IN THE DESIGN & APPLICATION PROCESS.
This Questionnaire has two primary purposes:
To encourage the applicant to review their project’s design considerations in a thoughtful,
To provide a basis for Plan and Specification review by Technical Services and a starting
point for design dialogue with the applicant.
The Best Methods Questionnaire has three guiding principles that have been synthesized into
a holistic approach to design. These guiding principles are as follows:
I. User Needs – Reviewing the special needs of the residents and the implications for
the physical design of the housing to support recovery, wellness and community
integration. The goal of these design features is to assist residents to function at the
peak of their abilities; reduce environmental stressors; remove physical barriers; create
flexible, universally designed spaces.
II. Sustainability – Examining Green Building considerations including energy efficiency,
durability, operations, maintenance, resource conservation, and indoor air quality. The
goal is to create a healthy environment while lowering operating costs.
III. Design Excellence – Reviewing key attributes of a well-designed housing project
including building location and layout, shape, appearance, open space, landscaping, and
parking. The goal of these features is to create a project that meets the needs of
the tenants while integrating the built structure into the neighborhood fabric, thereby
creating an asset in the community.