Monarch Housing Associates, an NLIHC member, is one of 52 agencies selected by the State of New Jersey as a qualified developer to build affordable housing through the state’s Special Needs Housing Partnership Loan Program (SNHPLP). A direct response to the closing of the Vineland Development Center (VDC), New Jersey’s institution for those with developmental disabilities, the program uses state dollars and resources from municipal affordable housing trust funds (AHTF) to help move people from developmental centers into the community by providing supportive housing. The state and advocates hope that SNHPLP will help move the state from a model of institutional care to a model of supportive housing.
SNHPLP was created by the state’s Departments of Community Affairs (DCA) and Human Services (DHS), and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) after the state’s FY11 budget announced the consolidation of VDC’s campuses and the FY12 budget announced the complete closure of VDC by June 2013. The closure serves to advance the state’s response to the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court Olmstead decision that requires states to provide community living options and other supports to individuals with disabilities who do not require institutionalized care. The move to a supportive housing model, favored by families of those needing services, is also expected to save the state service and operating funding.
SNHPLP requests municipalities with AHTFs to contribute 15% of the fund’s current balance to the purchase and rehabilitation of existing residential structures within the municipality. The DCA will match each municipality’s AHTF contribution with resources from NJHMFA for properties that are three- to four-bedroom, single-family ranch style homes that can easily be made accessible. Municipalities will work with developers with the capacity and technical expertise to produce housing units for individuals with developmental disabilities that have been vetted by DCA. The state will provide $23 million for development, along with additional funds for operating and supportive services.
The developer will be responsible for identifying properties for acquisition and carrying them through the development process. Monarch Housing Associates, as one of the selected developers, is assembling a team, including an architect, attorney, environmental consultant, home inspection company, and other professionals, which will streamline the development process to help the state meet its goal of creating supportive living arrangements for a minimum of 100 people by December 31, an additional 200 people by June 30, 2012, and 300 more people by June 30, 2013. Having a strong team in place will help Monarch Housing Associates respond to housing opportunities quickly and address all of the requirements of the program.
“This is an exciting chance to create community-based supportive housing for individuals with a disability, providing residents with a home to live in for the first time in decades,” said Asish Patel, Senior Associate at Monarch Housing Associates. “It is also a great opportunity for many agencies to expand their community-based housing services, when most federal and state funding has been cut dramatically.”
For more information contact Richard Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Monarch Housing Associates, firstname.lastname@example.org.