Monarch Housing Associates was incorporated in June 1990 by the Mental Health Association of NJ (MHANJ). For a year prior to the incorporation, MHANJ’s Policy Committee had researched and debated various options to provide independent housing for persons with mental illness. Through this process MHANJ determined that housing with attached supportive services was needed to enable those with mental illness the opportunity to successfully transition into independent living. Monarch Housing Associates was formed as a vehicle to support the development of supportive housing throughout New Jersey. Rather than become a developer/owner, Monarch took the unique road of contracted partner to community service providers functioning as development staff assisting in the process of building supportive housing. Monarch would go on to collaborate with agencies providing mental health services to assist them in moving into the housing development space. In doing so, service providers would reimagine their role as not only offering supportive services but also as housing developer/owner to ensure those that they served had the comprehensive support necessary to foster growth, recovery and stability.
In 1995 Monarch Housing Associates was awarded the Governor’s Excellence in Housing Award in the organization category. This award honored Monarch’s dedication to the “right to housing” for all persons with a mental illness and to the development of supportive housing opportunities for consumers of mental health services.
Within the first 9 years of operation, Monarch Housing Associates established the capacity to develop supportive housing with minimal administrative funding. During this period Monarch secured $100 million dollars for projects creating more than six hundred and twenty-four new supportive housing units in New Jersey.
For the initial ten years of operation Monarch Housing Associates only worked to create supportive housing for persons with mental illness. In 2002 the Board of Trustees expanded the agency’s mission to include development of housing for all persons in need of supports to foster independence and stability. Over the years Monarch’s scope expanded to include partners and housing projects serving a variety of needs such as individuals with developmental disabilities, individuals with substance abuse issues, youth aging out of foster care, seniors, and persons experiencing homelessness.
The expansion of the mission resulted in the rapid growth of Monarch Housing Associates. The agency developed a team approach focusing on housing development and homeless planning. The Housing Development team worked on creating group homes through the HUD 811 program, apartment buildings through the HUD 202 program and larger affordable housing projects with supportive housing set asides through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program. The homeless planning team was formed to support communities in securing the resources necessary to address and end homelessness. Working to achieve our vision that “Every person will have quality affordable, permanent housing that fosters freedom, independence and community integration” our agency efforts expanded further to include advocacy and public policy work to enhance the resources and appropriate policy directives necessary to support affordable, supportive housing development and service systems working to end homelessness.
By partnering and collaborating with almost one hundred (100) organizations, Monarch Housing has made significant strides in achieving our vision – that every person will have quality affordable, permanent housing that fosters freedom, independence and community integration. To date Monarch has developed over 3000 units of affordable and supportive housing and secured over $85 million dollars in new projects supporting persons experiencing homelessness.
The key to our success has been our mission driven focus and strong community partnerships to support change. To learn more about our work click on the links below.