Letter From SHA Housing Developer Members Regarding Special Needs Housing Partnership Loan Program
Housing Developers who are members of SHA have voiced concern and raised several suggestions to strengthen the state's Special Needs Housing Partnership program for people with developmental disabilities. On behalf of our Developers' Group, SHA has authored this letter to Anthony Marchetta, Director of the Housing Mortgage and Finance Agency, outlining the issues with recommendations.
In our preamble to Mr. Marchetta we wrote:
On behalf of the developers connected to SHA, we are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to use the Special Needs Housing Partnership to create homes for people with developmental disabilities and thank you for the hard work that has been put into this process. The recommendations in the letter are designed to strengthen and improve the program and make it more equitable. I hope we can discuss the contents of the letter soon.
Click the link below to read the full text of the letter.
Testimony in support of use of Municipal Housing Trust Funds for Affordable Projects for Special Needs Populations
To: Members of the NJ Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee
From: The Supportive Housing Association of New Jersey (SHA)
August 8, 2012
Krystal Odell, President, Board of Trustees of the Supportive Housing Association of NJ
Good afternoon. My name is Krystal Odell, President of the Board of Trustees of The Supportive Housing Association of NJ and President/CEO of Pennreach, a non-profit subsidiary of Pennrose Development Corporation. I am here with Gail Levinson, Executive Director of the Supportive Housing Association of NJ (SHA), a membership organization representing over 90 housing developers, service providers, corporate vendors along with families and consumers all dedicated to a strong and vibrant system of community housing with flexible supportive services for people with disabilities in NJ. We are here to talk to you about the importance of municipal housing trust funds to our industry, their role in helping to balance the state budget through appropriate use, while helping NJ meet its responsibility to citizens with disabilities.
Supportive Housing is permanent community housing with flexible support services as needed by each individual. It is a model, concept and philosophy that has been endorsed by the federal government and state governments throughout the country. Increasingly people with disabilities are leaving institutions and moving out of their family homes (where many have lived well into their adult and senior years), to find levels of independence and self sufficiency in communities across NJ. Supportive Housing has prevented many from tragic lives of homelessness or near homelessness. Individuals with significant mental, physical and development disabilities are living on their own in rental apartments, are sharing apartments, some are living with aides, some even own their own homes. All have access to staff that provide assistance with daily living skills, eligibility to public entitlements, emergency oversight when needed and therapeutic intervention as needed. It is an exciting approach to serving people of low income and with special needs because it returns people to normative living and does so in a fiscally responsible manner.