Real Estate Development

Isles develops real estate projects that meet exceptional standards of energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and sustainability, while preserving the historical integrity of neighborhoods by saving and renovating older homes. We create affordable housing in high-density, walkable communities In Trenton that allows residents to own high quality homes in their own neighborhoods, near family and friends.

Isles assists residents and other stakeholders to:

  • Understand local interests, strengths, and weaknesses.
  • Explore collective opportunities and challenges.
  • Build leadership skills and make informed decisions.
  • Forge coalitions and work collaboratively.
  • Educate the public, using Isles-developed maps, models, charts, and other techniques to teach and engage their peers, as well as government and other funders.
  • Partner with thoughtful designers, architects, and development professionals who actively listen and become vital partners.

Each project applies the following principles:

Smart Growth: Developments are located in high density communities, with the goal of recreating the fabric of existing neighborhoods, preventing the demolition of buildings, and saving environmentally sensitive open spaces. Projects rehabilitate existing structures and replace trash-strewn vacant lots with affordable, energy-efficient homes or open spaces like gardens and parks. Ownership of affordable homes stabilizes communities and builds family assets.

Building Design: Isles promotes healthy indoor air quality by selecting materials carefully and using environmentally appropriate building practices. Floor coverings are either green-label carpet with recycled content or renewable hardwoods and ceramic tile. Paints, sealants, and adhesives are either low or completely without carcinogenic VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Other measures include sealing ducts during construction, sealing surfaces of composite materials that contain formaldehyde, power venting all combustion devices, and using paperless sheetrock, under-slab vapor barriers, and proper ventilation.

Energy: Isles’ buildings go beyond compliance with Energy Star, an international standard for energy efficiency. Isles uses upgraded insulating systems; Energy Star appliances; high-performance windows; high-efficiency, properly sized heating and air conditioning; compact fluorescent or other efficient lighting fixtures; ductwork located in conditioned spaces, tank-less water heaters; and hot water pipe insulation.

Resource Efficiency: Isles minimizes resource consumption, uses renewable or recycled materials where possible, and recycles old materials. Building projects recycle construction waste, emphasize durable, low toxicity materials with high recycled content, use water-saving shower heads and fixtures, and use renewable wood, ceramic tile, or natural linoleum.


Housing is a basic human need and constitutes the largest portion of an average family’s budget. In the inner city, residents often spend a higher percentage of their income on housing than is true in the suburbs. In Trenton, about a third of residents pay as much as 40% of their income on housing costs.

Trenton, one of the most distressed cities in the country, exists within Mercer County, which is one of the wealthiest in New Jersey. Thirty percent of Trenton’s housing is in substandard condition and nearly 25% of its residents earn less than $10,890, the federal poverty level for a single individual. With rising utility bills, housing costs are increasingly straining budgets, particularly for working and lower-income families. More than 30% of Trenton’s families are struggling to keep their homes, and thousands more are becoming homeless each year.



From time to time Isles or an affiliate has homes for rent.

Please see the document below. Please complete, attach supporting documents and return to housing@isles.org or return to Isles 10 Wood St Trenton, NJ 08618 or in person during normal business hours. All information will be kept confidentially. Isles believes in and promotes Equal Housing Opportunity.