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Nicole Brossoie, DHS Press Office

Christie Administration Announces $5.1 Million Municipal Investment
In Special Needs Housing Initiative

Twelve Municipalities Join Partnership to Provide Affordable,
Supportive Housing to People with Developmental Disabilities

TRENTON, N.J. – As part of its on-going commitment to create more community-living options for people with developmental disabilities, the Christie Administration today announced 12 municipal partners of the Special Needs Housing Partnership. These municipalities are the first commitments secured for the initiative launched earlier this year by the New Jersey Departments of Community Affairs (DCA) and Human Services (DHS), and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA). The goal of the Partnership is to create 600 additional units of special needs housing by 2013.

The first municipalities to join the initiative are: Brick Township, Denville Township, Edison Township, Florham Park Borough, Hanover Township, Jackson Township, North Brunswick Township, Parsippany Township, Randolph Township, Roxbury Township, Washington Township (Morris County), and Wayne Township. Several other towns are in active discussions with the DCA and could begin participating as early as next month.

The participating municipalities are committing a total of $5,100,000 to the effort, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the HMFA, generating a new $10.2 million funding pool for creating housing opportunities. As part of the Special Needs Housing Partnership agreement, the municipalities have agreed to use money in their municipal affordable housing trust fund accounts to create affordable, supportive housing in their communities for people with developmental disabilities with assistance from the State. At a maximum cost of $500,000 per residential property, a minimum of 20 homes can be purchased with the funds committed by the municipalities and HMFA to date.

“The Special Needs Housing Partnership was created in recognition of both the significant housing needs of people with development disabilities and Governor Christie’s challenge to develop effective partnerships that address complex quality of life issues,” said DCA Commissioner Lori Grifa. “The Partnership encourages towns to use money they already have at their disposal to create affordable housing for people who are among the most vulnerable citizens in our community. I commend these municipalities for being pioneers in this important endeavor and encourage more to do the same.”

The DCA began the Special Needs Housing Partnership program in May with the Department of Human Services and the HMFA in order to expand housing opportunities and expedite the process of placing individuals with developmental disabilities into community-based supportive housing. The program’s short-term goal is to create housing for 600 people with developmental disabilities by June 2013 through the purchase and conversion of existing residential structures within participating municipalities. The longer-term goal is to help integrate people with special needs into the community whenever possible.

“This Partnership initiative is advancing New Jersey’s efforts to move individuals with developmental disabilities into the community,” said DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez. “These housing opportunities represent the commitment of this Administration to support the rights of individuals with special needs to live as independently as possible.”

At present, there is a collective pool of about $280 million in municipal affordable housing trust funds that has been set aside by municipalities for the purpose of providing safe and decent affordable housing for the people who live in those towns. As part of the initiative, the Partnership is helping municipalities utilize the money in these trust fund accounts to provide housing for people with developmental disabilities.

The Partnership is also helping municipalities leverage the money by matching a municipal commitment of funds dollar for dollar with financing available through the HMFA. To assist in the process, the DCA has approved, through a Request for Qualifications process, approximately 90 qualified affordable housing developers/supportive services providers that municipalities can contract with to create the housing.

The partnering municipalities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreeing to the basic requirements of the program. Their governing bodies also approved a resolution authorizing the execution of the MOU.

Municipal Partner Funding Commitments


Municipal Partner

Funding Commitment

Brick Township


Denville Township


Edison Township


Florham Park Borough


Hanover Township

$775,000, including a three-acre
lot for use

Jackson Township


North Brunswick Township


Parsippany Township


Randolph Township


Roxbury Township


Washington Township (Morris County)


Wayne Township


The Special Needs Housing Partnership supports New Jersey’s obligations under the landmark 1999 Supreme Court decision in Olmstead v. L.C. in which the Court ruled that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects a person with a disability from being unnecessarily institutionalized. The decision favored unrestricted, but supported, community placements for individuals with disabilities.

For more information on the Partnership, please go to www.nj.gov/dca/services/residents/housing.html on the DCA website.