N.J. supportive housing initiative gets $12M boost

The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency approved a $12 million investment partnership with the New Jersey Hospital Association to develop its supportive housing initiative.

Under the initiative, HMFA’s investment will be matched by participating hospitals to create affordable, mixed-income and mixed-use housing on or near hospital properties. HMFA said it plans to partner with up to four hospitals and health systems to develop the project.

NJHA President and CEO Cathy Bennett said the initiative will position the state as a leader in creating public-private partnerships.

“It’s hard to focus on filling your prescriptions or buying healthy foods when you don’t have stable housing,” Bennett said. “We’ve seen a direct correlation between housing instability and healthcare impacts, including more frequent hospitalizations and longer hospital stays. There’s plenty of evidence that shows the profound impact of supportive housing on those healthcare challenges. And in a win-win for communities, projects based on this model not only have improved health outcomes, but also have helped renew neighborhoods and stabilize property values.”

According to the New York-based Corporation for Supportive Housing, a report on the average of 25 supporting housing projects revealed declines in health care utilization, including:

  • 44 percent fewer emergency department visits;
  • 39 percent fewer inpatient admissions;
  • 45 percent fewer days spent in the hospital;
  • 47 percent fewer detox visits;
  • 34 percent fewer ambulance trips.