September 14, 2012 - Christie Administration Partners with Private Sector to Advance Community Living Projects for People with Special Needs
CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION PARTNERS WITH PRIVATE SECTOR
Tudor Village and Eel Street Group Home expand housing opportunities in Brick Township
BRICK - Continuing the Christie Administration’s commitment to community living for people with disabilities, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno joined other state and local officials today for groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting ceremonies at Tudor Village and Eel Street Group Home. The two projects were funded through private and government sources in collaboration with community-based organizations.
“Today’s events mark new beginnings and emphasize what public/private partnerships can do to advance diversity and inclusion in our communities,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “These housing developments create jobs and enhance the whole community, while helping people who need it most.”
Maintaining a commitment to advance opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities and consumers of mental health services, Governor Christie’s FY 2013 budget supports community-based housing with approximately $56 million in funding.
Among the dignitaries and guests attending the event with the Lt. Governor, were Assemblyman David W. Wolfe, Brick Township Mayor Stephen Acropolis, Department of Human Services (DHS) Commissioner Jennifer Velez, Department of Children and Families (DCF) Commissioner Allison Blake, Ph.D., LSW; New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency Executive Director Anthony Marchetta and Homes Now, Inc. President Carol A. Wolfe.
The groundbreaking at Tudor Village launched a new-construction housing development that will become home to women veterans with disabilities, individuals with developmental disabilities and people with mental illness. It is located off of Route 70 adjacent to Bancroft NeuroHealth. Just a few miles away, the ribbon-cutting at Eel Street Group Home celebrated the imminent move-in of four residents with developmental disabilities. The Arc of Ocean County staff will provide 24-hour on-site support and services to the residents.
“Tudor Village is one of our most exciting projects to date,” said Carol Wolfe, Founder and President and CEO of Homes Now, Inc. “Homes Now has been an advocate and pioneer of affordable, residential housing and services, while mixing various populations including people with special needs. I am so proud and grateful to all who are a part of this project and the new life that will be given to all who live here.”
The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) provided construction and permanent financing from the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund in the amounts of $1,262,500 for the Tudor Village Apartments project and $468,000 for Eel Street Group Home developed by Homes Now, Inc.
The Special Needs Housing Trust Fund is administered by the HMFA and provides capital financing to create permanent supportive housing and community residences for individuals with special needs. 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.
“I am immensely pleased the HMFA was able to be a part of both Tudor Village Apartments and Eel Street Group Home,” said Anthony Marchetta, Executive Director of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. “Without a doubt, both of these projects present an ideal housing experience for low income individuals with special needs so they can live with dignity in their community.”
Additional funding for the Tudor Village project includes: Ocean County HOME Funds $607,549; Brick Township Affordable Housing Trust Funds $300,000; Federal Home Loan Bank of New York $240,000; Brick Community Development Block Grant $100,000 and the OceanFirst Foundation $25,000.
“These kinds of partnerships among state and private agencies are what create invaluable opportunities for individuals with disabilities to live safely and comfortably in the community,” said DHS Commissioner Velez. “Research shows and we all know from experience that the inclusion of people with disabilities benefits and enriches communities.”
There are houses, apartments and condominiums in neighborhoods throughout the state that individuals with disabilities call home. With the support of full or part time staff, people with disabilities are enjoying the opportunity for work and social interaction with their peers. DHS licenses, monitors and provides funding to agency-run community homes.