Monarch Housing http://monarchhousing.org Building Homes, Transforming Lives Since 1990 Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:53:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.3 http://cdn3.monarchhousing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cropped-favicon.ico-150x150.png Monarch Housing http://monarchhousing.org 32 32 3439124 Inside the Homeless Encampment Hidden in Woods of Suburban NJ http://monarchhousing.org/2017/03/24/homeless-encampment/ http://monarchhousing.org/2017/03/24/homeless-encampment/#respond Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:20:28 +0000 http://monarchhousing.org/?p=35740 Homelessness in the suburbs is often hidden and there are not enough shelter beds to house the homeless in many suburban areas or enough affordable housing.

The post Inside the Homeless Encampment Hidden in Woods of Suburban NJ appeared first on Monarch Housing.

]]>
Lack of Affordable Housing Leaves Homeless Living Outside Year Round

On March 18, 2017, NJ.com reported on “Inside the homeless encampment hidden in woods of this suburban N.J. town.”

Reporter Alex Napoliello profiled a homeless encampment in Howell, New Jersey and spent time interviewing the homeless men and women who make it their home.

Writes Napoliello, “The shantytown carved out of a township-owned section of woods has all the makings of a weekend camping getaway: a pantry lined with food, a chapel set for Sunday prayers and spacious tents stocked with propane-fueled space heaters.”

But for the nine people who live there through bone-chilling winter nights and scorching summer days, this is home.”

Many of the people who make the homeless encampment their home either are currently working or worked before they became homeless. Imagine how hard it would be to maintain a work schedule, if you lived in a tenant outside without running water, heat or a kitchen to cook a proper meal. Steve Brigham is a homeless advocate and minister who is the de-facto leader of two encampments in Howell.

“Most of the residents were once working class people who fell on hard times. Some struggle with mental illnesses.” NJCounts 2016, coordinated by Monarch Housing found 776 homeless individuals in Monmouth and Ocean Counties on the evening of January 25, 2016.

Homelessness in the suburbs is often hidden. And there are not enough shelter beds to house the homeless in many suburban areas or enough affordable housing apartments or vouchers to provide everyone with a safe, affordable and permanent home.

The article quoted Monarch Housing Associate’s Jay Everett as he spoke about the picture of homelessness in New Jersey and the solution of permanent housing.

“There’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution to ending homelessness, said Jay Everett, a member of the Monarch Housing Associates.

“Two people with the exact same (housing) situation may have different networks and different resources and may experience it very differently,” he said.

He said one of the solutions is to get people off the streets, out of shelters or hotels, and into permanent housing with their own leases.

“Put people in a position where they have a better chance to solve and address barriers they may have in maintaining their housing,” Everett said. “It makes sense, but it’s not universally expected.”

Jack is one of the individuals who was interviewed for the article. “Jack works part-time as a custodian at a school in Lakewood. One recent afternoon, he was tucked in his tent reading a novel while waiting for a coworker to pick him up for work.

“It’s a nice place,” he said of the encampment. But, if he had it his way, it wouldn’t be home.

“There’s nothing wrong with me,” Jack said. “I’m capable of working, it’s just – I can’t find employment. And then you get these jobs, and they want to pay you $7 or $8 bucks an hour.”

Inside the homeless encampment hidden in woods of this suburban N.J. town

Monmouth 2017 NJCounts Report

Subscribe to Our Newsletter and Receive News You Can Use Every Morning

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter and Receive News You Can Use Every Friday

The post Inside the Homeless Encampment Hidden in Woods of Suburban NJ appeared first on Monarch Housing.

]]>
http://monarchhousing.org/2017/03/24/homeless-encampment/feed/ 0 35740
What Would $6 Billion in HUD Budget Cuts Mean? http://monarchhousing.org/2017/03/23/6-billion-hud-budget-cuts-mean/ http://monarchhousing.org/2017/03/23/6-billion-hud-budget-cuts-mean/#respond Thu, 23 Mar 2017 16:20:11 +0000 http://monarchhousing.org/?p=35720 President Trump proposes to cut overall HUD funding by 13% or $6.2 billion compared to 2016 levels including 6,148 housing vouchers in NJ.

The post What Would $6 Billion in HUD Budget Cuts Mean? appeared first on Monarch Housing.

]]>
HUD Vouchers Lift 4.1 Million People Out of Poverty and Help Our Communities

On March 10, 2017, The Christian Science Monitor reported on the HUD budget cuts in an article entitled “What Would $6 Billion in Budget Cuts Mean for Public Housing?

“The Trump administration is considering proposing cuts, preliminary HUD budget documents suggest. The documents have left advocates searching for ways to maintain the positive impacts of HUD funding on a reduced budget.”

President Trump proposes to cut overall HUD funding by 13% or $6.2 billion compared to 2016 levels. When compared to funding levels needed for FY 2017, the proposed cuts amount to a 15% or $7.5 billion reduction.

The impact on NJ, based on an analysis by the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), will be drastic including the loss of six thousand one-hundred and forty-eight (6,148) rental vouchers, the loss of almost $106 million dollars in Home and CDBG funding as well as the accelerated deterioration of public housing for almost 38,000 residents due to the loss of $69.5 million in public housing funding.

It is predicted that proposed cuts would slash the HUD budget by around 14%. “HUD Secretary Ben Carson reassured staff in an email that ‘starting numbers are rarely final numbers.’”

Advocates know that critical HUD funding helps end homelessness community infrastructure programs and pays for important community services. Over the past week, experts from many of the national organizations that Monarch Housing partners with weighed in with their analysis about how the cuts will impact the progress being made to end homelessness in the United States and communities in general.

“When low-income families with kids … move into lower-poverty, safer neighborhoods with better schools, it has a pretty significant impact on long-term outcomes for kids,” says Douglas Rice, a senior policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, in a phone interview with The Christian Science Monitor.

“Children are more likely to attend college, much less likely to become single parents, and enjoy higher salaries when they start work, Mr. Rice says. By some alternative census measures looking at the impact of in-kind benefits, he adds, federal rental assistance helps to lift 4.1 million people – including 1.4 million children – out of poverty each year.”

Communities rely on Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and HOME will impact funding for programs and services at the local level.

Academic experts are also weighing in about the dangers of the proposed HUD funding cuts. “And if the Trump administration is hoping to increase public-private partnerships, cutting community development grants like CDBG and HOME may be counterproductive, explains Jerry Anthony, associate professor at the University of Iowa School of Urban and Regional Planning. The funds for these programs are leveraged to bring in more money from the private sector.

‘These programs are crucial to local economy development,’ he says, explaining that every federal dollar invested in these programs can bring in three or more dollars.”

“ … In an era of tight budgets and budget deficits, HUD has been underfunded “for a number of years,” says Robert Silverman, a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Buffalo, N.Y., in a phone interview. Estimates suggest that just 1 in 4 eligible people are currently receiving HUD rental assistance because of funding limitations.”

Silverman reminds us that ultimately, Congress will have the final say about the HUD budget. “I wouldn’t imagine that there would be broad-based support in Congress for just cutting the budget drastically,” he says. “Every Congressman has constituents that they’re trying to maintain their level of funding for.” The budget goes to Congress in the next few weeks.

Please join us for the 2017 Congressional Reception to advocate that Mr. Trump and Congress must lift the spending caps with parity for defense and non-defense programs and ensure the highest level of funding possible for affordable housing.

The Christian Science Monitor

2017 Congressional Reception

Subscribe to Our Newsletter and Receive News You Can Use Every Morning

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter and Receive News You Can Use Every Friday

The post What Would $6 Billion in HUD Budget Cuts Mean? appeared first on Monarch Housing.

]]>
http://monarchhousing.org/2017/03/23/6-billion-hud-budget-cuts-mean/feed/ 0 35720
Supportive Housing Works for Individuals and Strengthens Communities http://monarchhousing.org/2017/03/23/supportive-housing-works-3/ http://monarchhousing.org/2017/03/23/supportive-housing-works-3/#respond Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:15:37 +0000 http://monarchhousing.org/?p=35715 Creating supportive housing helps individuals and families stabilize their lives, connect to communities and saves tax dollars.

The post Supportive Housing Works for Individuals and Strengthens Communities appeared first on Monarch Housing.

]]>
People with Disabilities Need Supportive Housing so They Do Not Have to Leave Their Home Town

On March 15, 2017, The Star-Ledger featured an op-ed by Diane Riley, executive director of Supportive Housing Association of New Jersey. Riley writes, “People with Disabilities Should Not Have to Leave a Town Because They Can’t Afford a Home.”

Advocates for affordable housing and individuals living with disabilities have long known that supportive housing is a win-win. Creating supportive housing helps individuals and families stabilize their lives, connect to communities and saves tax dollars.

In January, the Supreme Court Decision Creates a More Affordable NJ by issuing a, landmark decision affirming that municipalities must meet the housing needs that grew during the state’s 16 year “gap period.” This “gap period” for housing occurred during the years when New Jersey’s fair housing laws weren’t being adequately enforced.

Advocates celebrated the decision and the good news is that, “More than 100 municipalities have already reached agreements with advocates and developers establishing obligations of more than 32,000 homes.”

But these agreements are not the case everywhere. Some communities are resisting the Supreme Court’s decision, “Yet in a trial that is currently underway in Mercer County, five towns with a higher cost of living – Princeton, West Windsor, East Windsor, Hopewell and Lawrence – are arguing to artificially lower their affordable housing numbers. Their arguments assert that people with extremely low incomes, families who make less than 20 percent of the area median income, should not be counted in the housing methodology at all because they will never be able to afford living in these towns even if the towns properly zone for additional homes.”

Writes Riley, “Deeply concerning to the Supportive Housing Association of New Jersey (SHA) is the fact that this would also eliminate a majority of people living with disabilities from the equation as well. Many people with intellectual and physical disabilities fall into this category, relying on federal supplemental security income (SSI), on average $800 a month, to live. Should this argument prevail, the effects would be devastating and a giant step backward for people living with special needs.”

Riley writes about the good work that the state has done in moving people with disabilities out of institutions. Giving people vouchers and supportive services allows them to become part of the local community and live near family and friends.

“But there remains an acute shortage of affordable housing options. To address this shortage, advocates have been working to ensure that municipal housing settlements prioritize building homes for people with very low incomes. Both for-profit and nonprofit developers have stepped up, partnering with towns to build and rehab homes that serve these communities.”

“People with special needs choose communities for many common reasons: access to friends, families, support systems, medical facilities, places of worship and educational and work opportunities,” writes Riley.

“SHA believes that this not only works for each individual but also makes our communities stronger, more diverse, and more vital. Every community is challenged to do its part, and many are working diligently to do so.“

Full Op-ed

Subscribe to Our Newsletter and Receive News You Can Use Every Morning

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter and Receive News You Can Use Every Friday

The post Supportive Housing Works for Individuals and Strengthens Communities appeared first on Monarch Housing.

]]>
http://monarchhousing.org/2017/03/23/supportive-housing-works-3/feed/ 0 35715
Behavioral Health Treatment Funding Available http://monarchhousing.org/2017/03/22/behavioral-health-treatment-funding-available/ http://monarchhousing.org/2017/03/22/behavioral-health-treatment-funding-available/#respond Wed, 22 Mar 2017 16:28:46 +0000 http://monarchhousing.org/?p=35708 The grants will fund behavioral health treatment and services for substance use disorders and co-occurring mental and substance use disorders.

The post Behavioral Health Treatment Funding Available appeared first on Monarch Housing.

]]>
Behavioral Health Treatment and Services for Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is now accepting applications for behavioral health treatment.

The grants will fund behavioral health treatment and services for substance use disorders and co-occurring mental and substance use disorders. The grants can also fund permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness.

  • SAMHSA is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2017 Grants for the Benefit of Homeless Individuals (Short Title: GBHI).
  • The purpose of this program is to support the development and/or expansion of local implementation of a community infrastructure that integrates behavioral health treatment and services for substance use disorders (SUD) and co-occurring mental and substance use disorders (COD), permanent housing, and other critical services for individuals (including youth) and families experiencing homelessness.
  • Eligible applicants are domestic public and private nonprofit entities.
  • Applications are due by Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

People living in shelters are more than twice as likely to have a disability, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, compared to the general population.

On a given night in 2014, nearly 20 percent of the homeless population had serious mental illness or conditions related to chronic substance abuse, according to the 2015 Point-In-Time Count.

Grants for the Benefit of Homeless Individuals Apartments

Subscribe to Our Newsletter and Receive News You Can Use Every Morning

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter and Receive News You Can Use Every Friday

The post Behavioral Health Treatment Funding Available appeared first on Monarch Housing.

]]>
http://monarchhousing.org/2017/03/22/behavioral-health-treatment-funding-available/feed/ 0 35708
Congressman Sires Highlights HOME Funding for Integrity House http://monarchhousing.org/2017/03/22/congressman-sires-highlights-home-funding-for-integrity-house/ http://monarchhousing.org/2017/03/22/congressman-sires-highlights-home-funding-for-integrity-house/#respond Wed, 22 Mar 2017 12:20:57 +0000 http://monarchhousing.org/?p=35702 Congressman Albio Sires highlighted how Integrity House uses funds from HUD's CDBG, HOME, and Continuum of Care (CoC) programs to fulfill its mission.

The post Congressman Sires Highlights HOME Funding for Integrity House appeared first on Monarch Housing.

]]>
Sires Speaks About How HOME Funding Helped Integrity House Build Supportive Housing in Newark

Representative Albio Sires (D-NJ) at the THUD Member’s Day hearing on March 9, voiced support and advocated for stabilizing the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program funding which helped Integrity House create supportive housing.

“In my district in New Jersey,” Mr. Sires said, “HOME funds have been instrumental in providing affordable housing to my constituents.”

The March 9, 2017, House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Member’s Day hearing allowed representatives to speak about pressing funding needs related to housing and transportation.

Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) voiced strong support for Community Development Block Grants and encouraged the committee to embrace HUD’s mission of providing affordable housing for as many Americans as possible.

Trump’s Budget Request Slashes Critical Affordable Homes Resources would eliminate both CDBG and HOME funds.

The impact on NJ, based on an analysis by the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), will be drastic including the loss of six thousand one-hundred and forty-eight (6,148) rental vouchers, the loss of almost $106 million dollars in Home and CDBG funding as well as the accelerated deterioration of public housing for almost 38,000 residents due to the lass of $69.5 million in public housing funding.

Representative Sires represents New Jersey’s 8th congressional district and a recent report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) highlights the impact that the HOME program has had in New Jersey’s 8th district.

US Has Shortage of 7.4 Million Affordable Homes

Integrity House’s Lyons Gateway Apartments is A Place to Call Home in Newark

They highlighted Anthony who moved into Integrity House’s permanent supportive housing program in Newark, in NJ’s 8th congressional district. He stabilized his life, ending a cycle of addiction and homelessness, and new works full time.

The permanent supportive housing was funded with almost $425,000 through Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME.)

“Integrity House is committed to helping individuals and families through an effective and measurable system of comprehensive therapeutic community addictions treatment and recovery support in a way that brings about positive, long-term lifestyle change. Our organization uses funds from HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), and Continuum of Care (CoC) programs to fulfill its mission by assisting disadvantaged populations such as the homeless, chronically homeless, imminently homeless, the displaced, and more,” said the report.

The report, A Place to Call Home: The Case for Increased Federal Investments in Affordable Housing was released by the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) and the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC.)

This report’s research shows how investments in affordable housing boosts economic mobility, reduce poverty and homelessness, improve health outcomes, and strengthen the economy.

Also at the March 9 hearing, Representative Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) emphasized the importance of investing in repairs for public housing and pushed against the large cuts to non-defense discretionary spending proposed by the White House.

Representative Nannette Barragán (D-CA) encouraged members to fund Continuum of Care programs and to increase funding for Housing Choice Vouchers. “Homelessness is an issue of epidemic proportions, but we don’t have to accept it,” she said. “It’s a solvable problem.”

A Place to Call Home

Integrity House’s Lyons Gateway Apartments

Subscribe to Our Newsletter and Receive News You Can Use Every Morning

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter and Receive News You Can Use Every Friday

The post Congressman Sires Highlights HOME Funding for Integrity House appeared first on Monarch Housing.

]]>
http://monarchhousing.org/2017/03/22/congressman-sires-highlights-home-funding-for-integrity-house/feed/ 0 35702
Federal Housing Spending is Poorly Matched to Need http://monarchhousing.org/2017/03/21/federal-housing-spending-poorly-matched-need/ http://monarchhousing.org/2017/03/21/federal-housing-spending-poorly-matched-need/#respond Tue, 21 Mar 2017 16:12:33 +0000 http://monarchhousing.org/?p=35695 Federal housing spending is unbalanced as it targets a disproportionate share of subsidies on higher-income households and they favor home-ownership.

The post Federal Housing Spending is Poorly Matched to Need appeared first on Monarch Housing.

]]>
Federal Housing Spending Helps Well-Off Homeowners but Leaves Struggling Low-Income Renters Without Help

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has updated its chartbook showing the mismatch between the nation’s housing needs and the allocation of federal housing.

As the chartbook explains, the federal government spent $190 billion in 2015 to help Americans buy or rent homes, but little of that spending went to the families who struggle the most to afford housing.

Federal housing expenditures are unbalanced in two respects: they target a disproportionate share of subsidies on higher-income households and they favor home-ownership over renting.

  • Lower-income renters are far likelier than homeowners or higher-income renters to pay very high shares of their income for housing.
  • Low-income renters are also far likelier to experience problems such as homelessness, housing instability, and overcrowding.
  • Federal rental assistance is highly effective at helping these vulnerable families.
  • But rental assistance programs are deeply underfunded and as a result only reach a fraction of eligible households.

The Chartbook expands on the following issues:

  • Federal Housing Spending Disproportionately Targets Higher-Income Households
  • Federal Housing Policy Favors Owning over Renting
  • Housing Needs Among Renters Are Growing
  • Poor Renters Have Greatest Need for Housing Assistance
  • Federal Rental Assistance Helps the Lowest-Income People Afford Housing, but Funding Limitations Keep It from Reaching Most Families in Need

Under President Trump’s proposed budget, this mismatch will only increase.  Trump’s Budget Request Slashes Critical Affordable Homes Resources  with a HUD budget cut of 14% or $ 6 billion – without considering inflationary adjustments.

The impact on NJ, based on an analysis by the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), will be drastic including the loss of six thousand one-hundred and forty -eight (6,148) of rental vouchers, the loss of almost $106 million dollars in Home and CDBG funding as well as the accelerated deterioration of public housing for almost 38,000 residents due to the lass of $69.5 million in public housing funding.

This year, more than ever, the Congressional Reception is critical. As advocates, we have our work cut out for us in the coming years.

This budget has been revealed at a time when New Jersey is experiencing an affordable housing crisis. New Jersey has a shortage of at least 212,237 affordable and available homes for the lowest income people in this country. 

Just one in four low income people in New Jersey in need of assistance, including seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and veterans, get the help they need. New Jersey’s affordable housing crisis makes these suggested cuts both unconscionable and unacceptable.

CBPP Chartbook

Subscribe to Our Newsletter and Receive News You Can Use Every Morning

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter and Receive News You Can Use Every Friday

The post Federal Housing Spending is Poorly Matched to Need appeared first on Monarch Housing.

]]>
http://monarchhousing.org/2017/03/21/federal-housing-spending-poorly-matched-need/feed/ 0 35695