HMFA’s Special Needs Housing Partnership Loan Program Receives Esteemed Excellence Award
TRENTON, NJ – The Christie Administration is pleased to announce that the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA), an affiliate of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, has been recognized by the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) for an Excellence Award for its Special Needs Housing Partnership Loan Program (SNHPLP).
This award recognizes innovative programs that provide housing for individuals with special needs and showcases industry best practices to serve as models and inspiration for housing agencies across the nation. The SNHPLP was recognized for addressing the crucial need for permanent affordable supportive housing for special needs populations with developmental disabilities in New Jersey.
“The Special Needs Housing Partnership Loan Program responds to an important state housing need that is being fulfilled through the creation of a supply of special needs housing stock that will remain available for years to come” said DCA Commissioner Charles A. Richman, who is Chair of the HMFA. “Individuals with developmental disabilities are able to take advantage of integrated housing that is both accessible and affordable allowing them live in a home within the community.”
The program was formed out of a unique partnership between the HMFA, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities (DHS/DDD) in June 2011. This partnership creates the opportunity to effectively leverage public resources, such as a municipality’s Affordable Housing Trust Funds (AHTF), to provide financing for the acquisition, construction and/or rehabilitation of existing single-family structures into accessible residences that provide supportive housing for individuals with developmental disabilities.
“The Special Needs Housing Partnership Loan Program is a prime example of how state and local governments can work together effectively to create a program that will have a life-altering impact for individuals with special needs,” HMFA Executive Director Anthony Marchetta added.
Loan funds may be used for the acquisition, construction and rehabilitation of up to six-bedroom single-family houses and first floor three- to four-bedroom condominiums with work to be completed within six months of mortgage closing. All of the units/beds created must be set aside for persons with developmental disabilities and deed restricted for this class of tenants.
“Providing resources for community-integrated special needs housing improves the quality of life not only for those individuals and their families that are living in the properties, but also for the surrounding community that benefits from local investment,” said DHS Acting Commissioner Elizabeth Connolly. “This innovative program will have a lasting impact, providing a sustainable source of permanent and affordable supportive housing opportunities into the future. The SNHPLP truly is a remarkable, one-of-a-kind program that is changing lives for the better.”
The SNHPLP advances the State of New Jersey’s goal of helping people with special needs integrate fully into their communities and exercise choice and control over their housing options. One of the fundamental reasons the SNHPLP was developed was to meet the demands of the state’s Developmental Center Closure Plan and Olmstead Settlement Plan to move 1,850 residents from developmental centers into the community over eight years, which began in 2007. The SNHPLP specifically targets affordable supportive housing opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities who are leaving state developmental centers or returning home from out-of-state placements, and who are in need of independent housing in the community.
The program is financed in a collaborative fashion with funding allocations from HMFA and DCA totaling more than $22 million. Since the program’s inception the program has committed to 50 projects throughout the state, providing approximately 200 beds, leveraging $14.6 million in partnership financing, $8.6 million in municipal AHTF money, and $1.4 million in DDD funding.
For more information on HMFA programs, please visit, www.njhousing.gov.