Partnering with Hospitals to Fund Supportive Housing Developments
The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) is working directly with hospitals to develop more supportive housing throughout New Jersey.
NJHMFA Executive Director Charles A. Richman recently spoke with Monarch Housing Staff going into the details about the recently launched Hospital Partnership Subsidy Program and its goals.
The $12 million Hospital Partnership Subsidy Program was created after the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) released research suggesting that providing supportive housing leads to health care and government cost savings. The Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) reports that supportive housing results in nearly 50% fewer emergency department visits, days spent in hospitals, and detox visits.
NJHMFA is partnering with New Jersey hospitals to develop affordable and supportive housing in close proximity to hospitals. Every dollar that hospitals in the program contribute to developments will be matched by NJHMFA for up to $4 million. NJHMFA, which administers the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, will contribute 4 percent credits to the projects.
“Housing is health care, and as anchor institutions in their communities, hospitals have an incredibly important role to play in both the creation of housing that is affordable to families as well as supportive housing,” Richman said. “We know that permanent supportive housing can result in improved health outcomes and quality of life. This program will help reduce the hospital costs associated with the frequent and unnecessary use of emergency hospital services and provide at-risk individuals with the supportive housing they need to sustain healthy living.”
Each project is expected to create 60 to 80 new apartments. Richman highlighted that a significant portion of the apartments in these developments will go to low-income people in addition to providing affordable housing for families including potentially hospital employees as well.
Currently, four supportive housing developments are part of the initiative. Richman highlighted one of the projects, which is an apartment complex in Paterson proposed by Saint Joseph’s Health. This project is currently in the design stage. There are other developments in the pipeline in different areas of New Jersey that will provide needed housing to various populations.
Without the hospitals’ contributions, this program would not be feasible. When asked about whether hospitals are interested in taking part of the cost burden of these projects, Richman said that hospital leaders and executives have embraced the initiative, understanding the important role that hospitals play across New Jersey communities.
According to Richman, NJHMFA is incredibly excited about this innovative initiative and looking forward to announcing additional partnerships in the near future. For more information about the Hospital Partnership Subsidy Program, please read more on the NJHMFA website.