Governor’s Budget Includes Mental Health, Housing Initiatives

Investments in Supportive Housing and
Housing Assistance for Veterans

Governor Chris ChristieYesterday, February 21, 2012, Gov. Chris Christie unveiled a budget that expects robust revenue growth of about 7 %.

The budget document states that Governor Christie is committed to helping New Jerseyans with developmental disabilities or mental illness lead richer lives. The fiscal year 2013 (FY 2013) budget furthers that commitment through enhanced funding provided to support community placements and additional programs and services.

Supportive Housing and Other Assistance for At Risk Populations – This fell under the section entitled, “Governor Christie’s Budget Reinforces Commitment to Protecting New Jersey’s Most Vulnerable.” (p 33 & p.44)

The FY 2013 budget reinvests savings from the closure of Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital, providing an additional $5.6 million to the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services to fund:

  • 133 new units of supportive housing,
  • rental assistance for 100 consumers of mental health services,
  • expanded psychiatric services for patients in the community, and
  • expanded supportive employment program capacity.

In addition, diversion programs offering treatment, stabilization and referral services will become available for an additional 400 clients.

  • $5 million in new funding is also included for the Department of Human Services to fund 245 new community placements for persons diagnosed with mental illness who could be discharged from or would otherwise be committed to a State psychiatric hospital.

Veterans (p.47)

The Christie Administration is expanding the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMAVA) successful Veterans Haven program. After being medically evaluated at a VA Medical Center, eligible veterans participate in a long-term program focusing on psychological, social and vocational rehabilitation.

Startup funds totaling $2.3 million are included in DMAVA’s and Human Services’ fiscal year 2013 budgets for transition services. Federal funding through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will allow DMAVA to provide housing, health services and social and vocational rehabilitation to approximately 50 homeless veterans.

Providing Tax Relief To Working Families

The State funding commitment of approximately $280 million annually will mean the average eligible family will receive a $495 annual benefit in the first year and a $550 annual benefit once fully phased in.

WorkFirst New Jersey (p.47) level funded

Housing Assistance For Low-Income New Jerseyans (level funded) (p.47)

  • State Rental Assistance Program (SRAP). Governor Christie is providing funding for SRAP at $21 million in fiscal year 2013, which helps low-income residents, afford housing by providing rental assistance grants to individuals and families.
  • Homelessness Prevention Program. This program provides financial assistance to low- and moderate-income tenants and homeowners in imminent danger of eviction or foreclosure due to temporary financial problems beyond their control. Governor Christie’s fiscal year 2013 budget protects funding at $4.4 million.
  • Shelter Assistance. In fiscal year 2013, the Christie Administration will provide $2.3 million in assistance to homeless shelters in the state.

Projections of housing budgets

New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency will increase from $144.467 M in 2012 to $158.5 M in 2013 (page 111)

Affordable Housing and Neighborhood Preservation (In the Department of Community Affairs)

  • Fair Housing stays level at $28.159 M (page 126)
  • Housing Services under DCA goes from $12.94 M in 2011 to $15.275 M in 2012 to $19.575 M in 2013 (page 133
  • Transitional Housing goes from $618,000 in 2012 to $1.111 M in 2013 (page 138)
  • Page 140-Section 8 Housing Voucher Program goes from $203,697 M (2011) to $217,637 M (2012) to $212,650 M (2013)
    • Shelter Plus Care Program goes from $1,989 M in 2011 $4,965 M in 2012 $4,655 M in 2013
    • Transitional Housing – Homeless: $138 M (2011) to $70 M (2012) to $70 M (2013)
    • Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Initiative: $2,178 M (2011) to $1,900 M (2012) $1,781 M (2013)

To view the Budget in Brief click here.