Christie Administration Announces Supportive Housing Connection Program for DHS Clients
TRENTON, N.J. -The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA), an affiliate of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (NJDCA), celebrated the launch of the Supportive Housing Connection (SHC), its unique partnership with the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS).
“The goal of the SHC is to meet the permanent supportive housing needs of New Jersey’s residents with special needs by consolidating DHS’s rental subsidy resources into one location to facilitate a single point of management for those resources,” said NJDCA Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III, who also serves as Chairman of the HMFA. “The SHC also will provide access to affordable housing resources for individuals and families with special needs.”
Through the SHC, NJHMFA will administer DHS rental subsidies and connect its clients to a wide pool of quality housing opportunities across the state. Additionally, the SHC will conduct inspections of participating housing units to ensure their physical integrity and compliance with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Quality Standards. The SHC will also provide resident inquiry resolution services for tenants and landlords as needed.
The program will administer three types of rental subsidies for DHS clients—Tenant-Based, Project-Based, and Sponsor-Based. Tenant-based subsidies travel with the tenant from unit to unit within the State of New Jersey, and get returned to DHS for redistribution should the tenant no longer require the subsidies. Project-based subsidies cover a specific housing unit, subsidize the rent for any qualified tenant living in the unit, and remain with the unit should the tenant leave. Sponsor-based subsidies remain with a specific support services provider’s program as long as the tenant remains in the provider agency’s service area and continues to receive services from that particular program.
“There is no state agency in New Jersey more qualified than the HMFA when it comes to housing,” said NJHMFA Executive Director Marchetta. “We are thrilled about this partnership, which supports the state’s transition from a contracted system of care reimbursement to a Medicaid-based, Fee-For-Service (FFS) system, following a national FFS model.”
DHS’s role in the SHC will be to provide policy direction, refer qualified tenants to the SHC, and provide funding to NJHMFA to operate and administer the SHC while NJHMFA’s role will be to provide landlord outreach and training, administer rental and other housing assistance, provide unit referrals and inspections, and perform resident inquiry resolution services to DHS tenants. The SHC will connect landlords who operate high quality housing with a pool of eligible tenants with housing subsidies and access to supportive services. The SHC will also provide participating landlords and property owners appropriate training on processes and policies, as needed.
“Safe, high quality housing is a cornerstone of community integration for people with disabilities,” said DHS Director of Housing Janel Winter. “DHS is proud to launch the Supportive Housing Connection, which builds on a long history of partnership with NJHMFA to increase affordable housing opportunities for people with special needs.”
The SHC also supports the state’s compliance with the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) Home and Community Based Settings (HCBS) Final Rule.
For more information on the Supportive Housing Connection, visit http://www.njhousing.gov/rentals/shc/