Supportive housing concept set to be launched Monday

LONDON: A supportive housing project will house multi-generational residents with special needs in affordable homes in a hospital precinct. The mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments will also house nursing and hospital employees.

A project set to bring 60 units of affordable housing to several currently vacant near St. Joseph’s Health won the support of the Paterson Planning Board earlier this week.

The first project under an innovative state partnership program to promote hospital investment in affordable and supportive housing in their communities, including homes for residents with special needs and experiencing high utilization of emergency services, the proposed Barclay Street housing development will bring a mix of affordable one, two, and three-bedroom apartments to families, potentially including hospital employees. The project’s developer will be Paterson-based New Jersey Community Development Corporation.

“Paterson has always been built on innovation,” Mayor Andre Sayegh said. “It’s through forward thinking, strategic partnerships, and hard work that we are going to move ours back onto the list of most desirable cities.”

“This project, aimed at bringing housing and healthcare to those that need it most, truly advances those efforts.”

The development, which will cost approximately $20.3 million to build, pairs a $3 million subsidy loan contributed by NJHMFA under the partnership program with about $3 million contributed from St. Joseph’s. St. Joseph’s owns the Barclay Street site and is donating it for the development. In addition, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs will provide 10 project-based housing vouchers for the project upon completion.

The developer is expected to apply to NJHMFA for four percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which would generate $7.6 million in private equity. NJHMFA is also expected to provide approximately $10.9 million in construction and permanent financing and $1 million from its Special Needs Housing Trust Fund, which provides financing to create permanent supportive homes in the community for residents with special needs.

Studies have shown that permanent supportive housing can improve the quality of life and health of individuals experiencing frequent use of the emergency department, as well as help hospitals save on ED costs. While health care systems and hospitals have begun to recognize the importance of affordable housing in promoting and sustaining health, this program is the first to be created, financed, and led by a state housing agency.

Residents accepted for special needs housing will be offered medical care through St. Joseph’s Health with the anticipation that housing and care management will reduce unnecessary ED use. The Barclay Street housing project will also include space for the delivery of social, health, and wellness services, including workshops to inform and guide tenants centered around issues affecting health, and an information hub to link tenants to a broad range of services and providers.