New Jersey’s First Hospital-Based Supportive Housing Opened Via Pioneering State Partnership Program

On July 10, 2023, St. Joseph’s Health and the New Jersey Housing Mortgage and Finance Agency (NJHMFA) celebrated the opening of Barclay Place in Paterson, NJ. Barclay Place is a 56-unit housing community where supportive services are offered by St. Joseph’s Health. This is the first housing community completed under the Hospital Partnership Subsidy Program (HPSD) administered by the NJHMFA. At opening, Barclay Place already had a 64% occupancy rate with 35 tenants.

Barclay Place revitalizes a formerly vacant site just a block away from Saint Joseph’s University Medical Center. The ground-floor, 3,000-square foot tenant space will be operated by Saint Joseph’s Health, and will provide social, health, wellness and counseling services to residents as well as individuals in the community.

In general, supportive housing services can include assisting tenants with addressing physical health, mental health and substance use conditions, and with other issues such as applying for Social Security benefits or gaining employment. Teams of professionals, such as mental health and substance use specialists, nurses, doctors and case managers, all provide supportive care. These teams also connect people to mainstream service systems including work training, if appropriate.

Although hospitals have provided supportive housing services for many years, the NJHMFA incentivizes hospitals by matching a hospital’s contribution to provide housing that is affordable to low- and moderate- income families. At Barclay Place, 10 units are set aside for residents with special needs or frequent users of hospital emergency room services. Supportive services at Barclay Place include on-site nurses and social workers in addition to job training and counselling services. Hospital partnership programs should continue and expand under the HPSD:

  • Initially established as a pilot program, the HPSD was to provide up to $12 million to four or five projects of approximately 50 housing units each. Housing advocates await NJHMFA’s decision to make the HPSD permanent.
  • Other hospitals, including University Hospital in Newark, are taking advantage of the HPSD. University Hospital’s facility is expected to provide 78 affordable units and several additional health and housing sites will open across New Jersey in the months ahead through the HPSD.
  • Partnering housing finance agencies and health care organizations, HPSD has garnered national recognition, and has sparked further investment in health and housing public-private partnerships across the country. Both residents of the new housing as well as surrounding communities experience improved outcomes thanks to the combination of on-site health and social services with affordable, quality housing.
  • HPSD furthers the mission of hospitals by allowing them to participate in affordable housing development with a goal of reducing emergency room visits and improving the overall health of the community.
  • Several other states are considering implementing similar programs.

Further information may be found here.