CLOSTER, N.J. – Representatives of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) today joined Closter Mayor Sophie Heymann and other local officials to celebrate the grand opening of Van Sciver Supportive Housing Residence, a service-enriched affordable housing development for individuals with special needs. The HMFA, an affiliate of the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), provided $2.5 million in construction financing from the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund for the project. DCA provided operating subsidies under the State Rental Assistance Program for future residents of the facility.
“Van Sciver Supportive Housing will provide a clean, safe place to call home for some of the community’s most vulnerable citizens,” said DCA Acting Commissioner Richard E. Constable III, who is Chair of the HMFA. “Many of the residents are transitioning out of homelessness and trying to overcome mental illness. I’m very pleased that both the DCA and HMFA have played an important role in the project’s development because it advances the mission of making affordable housing available for those who need it most.”
The newly constructed facility includes 16 housing units for residents with special needs and a one-bedroom apartment for the onsite superintendent. A community room, laundry facilities and parking are available for use by the tenants. Also, the building includes such sustainable design features as bamboo flooring, Energy Star appliances, and electrical systems that maximize energy and water conservation.
The Special Needs Housing Trust Fund is administered by the HMFA and provides capital financing to create permanent supportive housing and community residences for individuals with special needs, with priority given to individuals with mental illness. The purpose of the fund is to develop special needs housing and residential opportunities as alternatives to institutionalization or homelessness. In 2011, HMFA committed a total of $31 million in loans and grants from the Trust Fund. This enabled the Agency to finance 30 projects, providing an estimated 275 units of supportive housing.
“We have a social responsibility to New Jersey residents in need to provide and create special needs housing and residential opportunities as alternatives to institutionalization or homelessness,” said HMFA Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta. “Now, more people with special needs have the opportunity to stabilize their lives and move towards more independent living.”
Van Sciver Supportive Housing was developed by Vantage Health Services, Inc., which was established in 2001 as a Community Housing Development Organization. The mission of Vantage is to promote and provide permanent community living arrangements for psychiatrically disabled individuals in Bergen, Hudson, Passaic and Morris Counties. In addition to developing the facility, Vantage is serving as the property manager.
For more information on HMFA programs, please call 1-800-NJHOUSE or 609-278-7400, or log on to www.nj-hmfa.com.