FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, July 22 2016


Rehabilitated Ranch Home Provides Supportive Community Housing for Four Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

PRINCETON – New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) Executive Staff recently joined representatives of the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) and Youth Consultation Service (YCS) Inc. to celebrate the grand opening of Sawtelle Hill Top Home. This affordable permanent supportive rental residence, located at 9 Hill Top Drive, provides housing for four individuals with developmental disabilities. 

The YCS Sawtelle Hill Top’s .57-acre property is located adjacent to Route 206, in the Hilltop Terrace section of Princeton. The neighborhood is made up of single-family detached homes of various styles, sizes and ages and is well-maintained. Schools, places of worship, medical services, a large shopping center, a supermarket, and public transportation are easily accessible; most within a five-minute drive from the home. YCS Sawtelle Hill Top Home involved the moderate rehabilitation of an existing ranch home with three bedrooms and a garage to four bedrooms, two full bathrooms (one is ADA compliant), a staff office and laundry closet. Residents share attractive common areas including an eat-in kitchen, a large living room, an accessible family room (formerly an enclosed porch) and a beautiful backyard. A full, partially finished basement is available for storage. The home’s total living space is now 2,150 square feet. 

“HMFA is so pleased to contribute to the financing of YCS Sawtelle Hill Top Home,” said HMFA Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta. “The Special Needs Housing Partnership Loan Program (SNHPLP) that helped finance the project is a nationally recognized financing mechanism that helps integrate people with special needs into the community, and enables municipalities to utilize the monies in their Affordable Housing Trust Fund accounts to create housing for those with developmental disabilities.” 

The HMFA, an affiliate of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), provided $250,000 in construction and permanent financing from the SNHPLP, in partnership with DDD and the Township of Princeton, to provide capital financing necessary to create permanent supportive housing and community residences for individuals with developmental disabilities. The Olmstead Initiative is DDD’s plan for moving 1,850 residents from its seven developmental centers into the community to expand living options for people with developmental disabilities.  The municipality and its Affordable Housing Committee were very supportive of the project. 

Following the SNHPLP Guidelines, loan proceeds are used for the acquisition and rehabilitation of existing 3-4 bedroom single-family houses and first floor 3-4 bedroom condominiums, with acquisition and all rehabilitation to be completed within six months of the mortgage closing. 

The scope of the rehabilitation work included reconfiguring the floor plan of the house, keeping the master bedroom and the larger of the two other bedrooms, and renovating the garage into two new bedrooms, to bring the total bedroom count up to four. The master bedroom was reconfigured to add a staff office and the master bath was expanded to be ADA-compliant. A main floor laundry closet was added so that the machines can be brought up from the basement and a hallway was enlarged to accommodate wheelchairs. The original enclosed porch was fully insulated and the floor leveled to become a fully-accessible year-round family room. A fire-suppression system was also installed. 

The only required exterior work was the installation of two ramps for wheelchair access to the home -- one leading from the driveway to the front door and the second leading from the side walk to the family room in the rear of the home. 

The $574,873 total development cost of this residence provides affordable housing opportunities for New Jersey’s developmentally disabled residents, and will continue to have a positive economic impact on the Mercer County community. HMFA estimates that the YCS Sawtelle Hill Top Home rehabilitation project generated $903,450 in one-time economic output, defined as the total value of industry production, such as sales and business revenues. During construction, the project supported approximately six direct and indirect/induced full-time equivalent jobs, and generated approximately $33,000 in state and local taxes. Now complete, the project will continue to add value to the community by providing $100,890 in ongoing economic output and more than $5,000 in state and local taxes annually. 

Economic Impact Analysis figures were estimated using multipliers derived from a 2013 study entitled “Economic and Fiscal Impacts of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency’s Investment in Affordable Housing,” conducted by HR&A Advisors, Inc., a real estate and economic development consulting firm. 

YCS Sawtelle Hill Top’s housing opportunities are reserved for individuals with developmental disabilities at or below 50% of the Area Median Income. 

YCS is the social service provider for residents. The home is staffed 24 hours a day with a ratio of at least one staff member to two residents in place. Direct care staff will be non-nursing with a registered nurse visiting the home monthly to audit records and medications. A Designated Behavior Interventionist will visit the home once a week. A van is assigned to the home for resident use. Transportation will be provided for community outings, family visits, doctor appointments, and any day programs in which residents are involved.

 The project developer, YCS, is the largest private provider of children’s behavioral health and special education services in the State of New Jersey, serving over 7,100 unduplicated individual clients. Their services also include adult group homes and residential treatment facilities. 

For more information on SNHPLP and other HMFA programs, please call 1-800-NJHOUSE or (609) 278-7400, or visit

Tammori Petty,
or Emike Omogbai
(609) 292-6055