Murphy admin., St. Joseph’s Health announce first affordable rental development under partnership program

The Murphy administration and St. Joseph’s Health announced Wednesday the first affordable housing project under the agency’s hospital housing partnership program.

Under the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency‘s $12 million Hospital Partnership Subsidy Program, NJHMFA said it will match funding from participating hospitals to provide affordable rental housing for low- and moderate-income families, including homes for residents with special needs and those who utilize emergency services often. The HPS program is expected to fund four to five developments with partnering hospitals.

“New Jersey is leading the way in developing groundbreaking tools that strengthen communities, grow our economy, and create housing opportunities that enable families to succeed,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “By supporting these partnerships and providing stable housing and supportive services to help vulnerable residents, we are reinforcing our core values and investing in a stronger New Jersey.”

The first project, a proposed affordable housing development on Barclay Street in Paterson, involves the construction of a multistory building in an Opportunity Zone that will have one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. New Jersey Community Development Corp. is the project’s developer.

The development, which will cost approximately $20.3 million to construct, combines a $3 million subsidy loan contributed by the NJHMFA with about $3 million contributed from St. Joseph’s.

St. Joseph’s said it owns the Barclay Street site and has donated it for the development.

“This groundbreaking public and private partnership is the latest in the state’s efforts to collaborate with New Jersey hospitals to provide affordable, safe housing with supportive services for those most in need in our communities,” said Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who also serves as commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs and chair of the NJHMFA board. “It is innovative new partnerships and projects like this that give us long-term solutions for reducing the number of people experiencing homelessness in New Jersey while improving quality of life.”

The project is expected to begin in winter 2020 and is slated for completion in spring 2021.

“We are very proud to build the first housing unit as part of the Hospital Partnership Subsidy Program and to create a space outside our hospital walls that addresses the health needs within our community,” Kevin J. Slavin, CEO and president of St. Joseph’s Health, said. “Access to safe, quality, affordable housing — and the supports necessary to maintain that housing — constitute one of the most basic and powerful social determinants of health.”

The Barclay Street project will also include spaces for residents to receive social, health and wellness services, including workshops on issues affecting health and an information hub to link tenants to a broad range of services. It will also include a 15,000-square-foot meeting space.

“As a community organization committed to Paterson’s revitalization, we are very pleased to partner on this project with St. Joseph’s Health,” Robert F. Guarasci, CEO of NJCDC, said.  “Like St. Joseph’s, NJCDC believes that healthy communities include a lot more than health care itself, and that truly healthy communities include things like decent and affordable housing, job training programs, high quality education, and youth recreation. Working together, St. Joseph’s and NJCDC can build a stronger, healthier Paterson by addressing these and other social determinants of health.”