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What is the Congregate Housing Services Program?

The State-funded Congregate Housing Services Program provides selected supportive services to low-income elderly persons or adults with disabilities, residing in certain subsidized housing facilities. The services offered include daily meals provided in a group setting, housekeeping, personal assistance, and service coordination. Service subsidies (comparable to rent subsidies) are available to assist tenants in certain income categories to meet the full cost of the program.

The Congregate Housing Services Program combines shelter and services to help those tenants who need some assistance to avoid inappropriate, premature, or overextended institutionalization. The program is intended to provide the physical and social environment that will extend the time span during which people can live independently.

Many people benefit from the freedom and independence which congregate housing affords them. Tenants can remain in their accustomed residence with dignity and freedom of choice because they are assisted with the daily tasks which they can no longer complete by themselves as they age and their needs change.

What services are provided?

The Congregate Housing Services Program provides as least one nutritionally balanced meal daily in a family style setting. Menus are approved by qualified nutritionists and can be prepared on site or purchased from an off-site caterer.

In addition to meals, the following housekeeping and home health aid services may be available to participants who require them. This will vary with the building.

  • Housekeeping
  • Shopping
  • Laundry
  • Linen change
  • Meal preparation
  • Personal care (such as bathing and dressing)
Who can receive these services?

The Congregate Housing Services Program is directed to the frail or at-risk elderly and adults with disabilities who are experiencing decreased energy and mobility but retain the capacity and desire for as much self-management as possible. To participate in this program a person must live in a building that has contracted with the State to provide a Congregate Housing Services Program.

What are the benefits of a Congregate Housing Services Program?

The Congregate Housing Services Program:

  • Supports independent living and prevents the unnecessary institutionalization of older persons or adults with disabilities
  • Prevents the deterioration of apartments by providing cleaning services
  • Prevents the decline in the health of tenants by providing personal and nutrition services
  • Creates a healthier environment for all residents by providing services to the participants
  • Provides participants with additional opportunities to socialize.
Cost of Services?

The total cost of a complete congregate package is considerably less than the cost of a skilled nursing facility.

Costs for services vary according to a resident’s income and the amount of assistance he or she receives. The State of New Jersey provides a service subsidy to reduce the cost of the program to eligible participants. Additional subsidies to further reduce the cost to participants are allowable.

For additional information contact:
New Jersey Department of Human Services
Division of Aging Services 
P.O. Box 807
Trenton, NJ 08625-0807
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