The Murphy administration on May 19 announced a collaboration with University Hospital in Newark and L+M Development Partners, Type A Projects and MSquared under the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency’s (NJHMFA) Hospital Partnership Subsidy Program to provide vital affordable and supportive housing – including homes for frequent users of emergency services – in their host communities.
This project will provide 78 affordable rental apartments that will serve low- and moderate-income households to promote economic diversity in the Fairmount neighborhood of Newark.
Sixteen supportive housing units will be reserved for homeless individuals and families, and these will be supported by project-based rental vouchers provided through the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ Housing Choice Voucher Program. All supportive units will be paired with access to medical services. The project will also be a recipient of 30 project-based rental vouchers from the Newark Housing Authority.
To date, the Hospital Partnership Subsidy Program has also advanced partnerships with St. Joseph’s Health in Paterson and RWJBarnabas Health in the City of Newark.
The Hospital Partnership Subsidy Program stems from the recognition that access to quality housing is critical to maintaining good health and that hospitals are crucial anchor institutions well-positioned to advance housing in conjunction with health care. Under this award-winning program, NJHMFA matches funding contributions from participating hospitals to provide affordable rental apartments for low- and moderate-income families, as well as apartments with access to supportive and wrap-around services for residents with special needs.
“Access to housing and quality medical care are social determinants of overall health. This new partnership not only addresses homeless individuals’ lack of access to affordable housing, but it offers them lifesaving supportive services,” said Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who serves as commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs and NJHMFA board chair. “This latest collaboration to develop housing opportunities for community members most in need will help break the cycle of homelessness in New Jersey.”
The $41.4 million project will receive $22 million in mortgage financing from NJHMFA, $1.6 million from the NJHMFA Special Needs Housing Trust Fund, and $6 million from the Hospital Partnership Subsidy Program, as well as $3 million from University Hospital and $300,000 in HOME funds from the City of Newark.
The project developer is also seeking federal 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits. NJHMFA administers this program which generates private equity.
Construction is anticipated to begin in the summer of 2021 and be completed by the spring of 2023.
“The Housing Partnership Subsidy Program promotes well-being through access to quality housing. It works because “housing is health care,”” said NJHMFA Executive Director Melanie Walter. “The University Hospital Project demonstrates once more how this innovative program creates much-needed affordable and supportive housing by leveraging local institutional assets for community betterment.”
The University Hospital project is located on a portion of the property at 250 Georgia King Village on West Market Street in the city’s Fairmount neighborhood.
The building will include a ground-floor clinic and hospital office space operated in partnership with University Hospital. This wellness center will enhance social services throughout the neighborhood by providing much-needed outpatient medical care to an at-risk population.
The CEO of University Hospital in Newark, who witnessed some of the pandemic’s worst manifestations, reflects on the past year and discusses some of the recent developments that are providing hope after the long lockdown.
“This partnership is a game changer. In the future we are going to see more collaborations between housing developers, public health institutions, and the communities they serve. By building safe, decent, and affordable housing for at-risk residents, combining that with onsite supportive services and a community healthcare clinic, this collaboration breaks new ground. I expect that we will see more of this model in the future,” said Mayor Ras Baraka. “A special thanks to Gov. Murphy and NJHMFA for their innovative policy to help make this happen in Newark.”
“Supportive housing has never been a more critical component to the equation of health care than it is today, and we are pleased to join with our state and local partners to develop this project in the heart of Newark. This initiative helps us lead into our long-term vision chipping away at upstream, social determinants of health,” said University Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Shereef Elnahal. “This also brings our campus closer to meeting the obligations of the Newark Agreements, created in the wake of a different period of racial tension and re-dedicating this hospital to its community.”
University Hospital is part of one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers and is the Level 1 Trauma Center for northern New Jersey. University Hospital is a principal teaching hospital of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and a regional resource for advanced services across many medical specialties.