Governor Appropriates $20M To The Special Needs Housing Trust Fund

TRENTON - Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation (S1255/ A1925) which creates a $20 million transfer to the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund in the Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA).

According to a release, the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund provides capital financing to create supportive housing and community residences for individuals living with special needs. 

“The Special Needs Housing Trust Fund has been depleted, despite its critical role in supporting housing projects for some of the state’s most vulnerable populations,” stated Murphy. “This legislation will provide much-needed funding, which will be used to provide affordable housing for those with special needs. With this bill now being law, the Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency can immediately begin developing plans for this crucial housing need.” 

Primary sponsors for S1255 are Sens. Troy Singleton and Nellie Pou, and Assemblymembers Benjie E. Wimberly, Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, and Cleopatra G. Tucker. 

“Since joining the Legislature, I have worked tirelessly to improve access to housing for every resident of New Jersey,” stated Singleton (D-1st). “This includes working to provide funding for special needs housing, which can be especially challenging to find. With this new law, it is my hope that the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund will continue its important work of developing and constructing residences for individuals with special needs.” 

“The Special Needs Housing Trust Fund is about funding the construction of housing for one of our most vulnerable populations, individuals with special needs who require supportive housing in safe, humane residences,” stated Nellie Pou (D-35th). “After the original funding was depleted, it was important we moved quickly, yet methodically, to ensure we could find a dedicated source of funding for the continual construction of this housing." 

“The Special Needs Housing Trust Fund has long-supported communities in providing adequate housing options for residents with special needs,” stated Wimberly (D-35th), Reynolds-Jackson (D-15th), and Tucker (D-28th), in a joint statement. “Housing accommodations can be a challenge for residents with disabilities, whether it is providing special ramps or appliances they require to perform simple daily tasks. With the signing of this legislation, we ensure the trust fund is able to continue its work for years to come with a dedicated funding source." 

S1255 creates a transfer of $20 million from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which has recently seen a significant increase due to the high volume of real estate sales, to the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund. The funding will be used to provide support for housing projects that benefit those living with special needs.  

“There is an imperative to develop more good, quality affordable housing for people with disabilities – housing that meets the needs and preferences of New Jersey’s large and diverse disability community,” stated Paul S. Aronsohn, state ombudsman for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities and their families. “This legislation recognizes that imperative and addresses it in a meaningful way.” 

"It is particularly fitting that June marks the 22nd anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling affirming the rights of people with disabilities to live in the community that the governor signed this bill today,” stated Diane Riley, executive director, Supportive Housing Association of New Jersey. “This law puts funding aside that will create opportunities to build more homes in every community for the thousands of people who struggle with barriers but can thrive with the supports they need.” 

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