NEWARK, N.J. – Representatives of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) today joined Newark Mayor Cory Booker, city officials and representatives of St. Clare Homes Property, Inc., an affiliate of AIDS Resource Foundation for Children, to celebrate the grand opening of St. Clare’s Residence, an affordable housing community in Newark for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS. The HMFA, an affiliate of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), awarded $2.3 million in permanent financing from the Special Need Housing Trust Fund to assist with the project’s development and construction.
“Increasing housing availability for all segments of the population, including people with HIV/AIDS, requires partnerships between non-profit organizations and all levels of government,” said DCA Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III, who is Chair of the HMFA. “I’m pleased that the HMFA played an important role in the project’s development and I extend sincere congratulations to the development team for recognizing the need to provide people living with HIV/AIDS with a stable, supportive place to live.”
The project involved the demolition of two existing properties and the construction of two three-story residential buildings that contain a total of 16 apartments, as well as office and community space.
In addition to financing through the HMFA’s Special Needs Housing Trust Fund, capital funding came from the City of Newark HOME program, Essex County HOME program, New Jersey Department of Health, and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). To provide help in operating St. Clare’s Residence, the Newark Housing Authority and HUD Shelter Plus Care Project have committed rental assistance for all 16 supportive housing units.
Social services for residents will be provided onsite by the AIDS Resource Foundation for Children and its affiliate, the St. Clare Home for Children. Funding for these services will be made possible by the DCA’s Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) program and the NJ Department of Health’s Division of HIV/AIDS, TB and STD Services. Social services include case management, mental health services, substance abuse counseling and an overall comprehensive development assistance program to meet each resident’s needs with the goal of helping them to sustain their housing.
“Individuals in need of supportive services often find it difficult to make ends meet. For this reason, it is extremely important to provide affordable housing options such as St. Clare’s Residence that have built-in services,” said HMFA Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta. “Whenever possible, the HMFA stands ready to be a partner on projects that increase the availability of and accessibility to safe, decent and affordable housing for families in New Jersey.”
The Special Needs Housing Trust Fund is administered by the HMFA and provides capital financing to create affordable, 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 permanent supportive housing and residential opportunities as alternatives to institutionalization or homelessness for those who would benefit from these programs and to ensure the long-term viability of such housing.
St. Clare Homes Property, Inc. was established by AIDS Resources Foundation for Children of Newark Essex County, a non-profit organization founded in 1985 to provide resources to assist homeless children with HIV/AIDS. The Foundation presently owns and manages 52 HMFA-funded scattered-site homes, as well as permanent supportive housing in the City of Newark and the surrounding municipalities.
For more information on HMFA programs, log on to www.njhousing.gov.