MONCLAIR, N.J. – New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta today joined local officials for the groundbreaking ceremonies of the Orange Road Project, an affordable housing community for individuals with mental illness located on Orange Road in Montclair, Essex County. The HMFA, an affiliate of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), provided approximately $1.7 million in construction and permanent financing for the project from the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund.
"Orange Road represents a commitment to creating quality affordable housing options for all segments of the population which will provide a comfortable place for residents to call home," said Acting Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III, who is Chair of the HMFA. "We are extremely proud that through the utilization of the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund projects like Orange Road will provide permanent supportive housing to people with disabilities and provide them the opportunity to live in an environment that fosters independence."
Orange Road will consist of the new construction of two, side by side handicap accessible buildings, each containing six one-bedroom apartments. All apartments will consist of a kitchen, living room, full bathroom, and laundry area for which will be dedicated to individuals with mental illness. To encourage the integration of physical and mental health, the residents will have on site access to a fitness room, a basketball court, a 1/8 mile walking path, and a wellness garden and sitting area, which will also be created in the backyard of the building.
Case management services will be provided to the tenants by Mental Health Association of Essex County, Inc. (MHAEC). Additionally, MHAEC will offer psychiatric and physical health care, vocational and employment assistance, income support and benefits, and family and other natural support system needs.
“I am immensely pleased the HMFA was able to be a part of Orange Road, which would not have broken ground without the hard work, persistence and commitment of the development team,” said HMFA Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta. “Without a doubt, this project will present a better housing experience for individuals of low income and with special needs so they may live with dignity in their community.”
The Special Needs Housing Trust Fund is administered by the HMFA and provides capital financing to create affordable, permanent supportive housing and community residences for individuals with special needs, with priority given to individuals with mental illness. The purpose of the fund is to develop special needs housing and residential opportunities as alternatives to institutionalization or homelessness for those who would benefit from these programs and to ensure the long-term viability of such housing.
Mental Health Association of Essex County, Inc. (MHAEC), established in 1950 as a private non-profit corporation, is the developer for this project. Their mission is to promote mental health, including the integration of physical healthcare, to improve the care and treatment of individuals with mental illness and to remove the stigma associated with emotional and mental disorders. The HMFA’s Special Needs Housing Trust Fund has provided funding for several housing projects with MHAEC. Since 2006, three other projects have been completed which provide a total of 13 units of permanent supportive housing to individuals with mental illness.
For more information on HMFA programs, please call 1-800-NJHOUSE or (609) 278-7400, or log on to http://www.nj.gov/dca/hmfa/.