Aug. 1, 2018: Financing Agency, N.J. Hospitals Team Up to Invest in Local Housing

The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency and the New Jersey Hospital Association have forged an innovative partnership to promote hospital investment in supportive housing in their communities.

HMFA has committed an investment in capital, to be matched by participating hospitals, to develop housing opportunities for community members in need.

Speaking today at the 2018 Healthy Homes and Communities Summit in Trenton, HMFA Executive Director Charles Richman said, “Housing is healthcare. Permanent, stable, supportive housing is key to overall health. Here we have the opportunity to both create affordable apartments and help people stay healthy. The partnership with NJHA to assist in the development of affordable housing is an innovative approach to address our shared goal of community well-being.”

NJHA President and CEO Cathy Bennett said the initiative gets to the very foundation of one of the key social determinants of health.

“It is well documented that where and how people live directly affect their well-being,” said Bennett. “Those experiencing housing instability are likely to be hospitalized more frequently with longer lengths of stay and require more care than patients with stable living arrangements. This new pilot partnership with HMFA will help our hospitals improve community health by developing housing for community members in need.”

As part of the partnership, HMFA will invest in up to three supportive housing projects located near hospitals. Participating hospitals will match the HMFA’s funds with their own financial investment in their local communities. HMFA will be the financer for this supportive housing pilot and will consider projects with elements such as affordable housing with units set aside for frequent users of hospital emergency services, or mixed-use development that may include community-based healthcare services and affordable housing.

The initiative has been endorsed by the NJHA Board of Trustees, as part of the Association’s mission of improving the health of New Jersey residents and communities. NJHA and HMFA are now in the process of meeting with hospitals about the initiative and identifying potential participants. Several hospitals have expressed an interest in joining the HMFA in the supporting housing project, but the initiative is in a preliminary phase and it’s too early to say which projects will be funded and when development could begin.

While NJHA serves the role of convener and will provide consulting support for hospitals, the final projects to be financed will be determined by HMFA.