New Jersey Department of Human Services to allocate $5 million to expand community housing for people with disabilities and acute needs
The money will help providers purchase, develop, and renovate group homes.
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On Thursday, June 6, Commissioner Sarah Adelman announced that the New Jersey Department of Human Services will be making $5 million available to assist development disability providers in purchasing, developing, and renovating group homes that serve newly placed individuals with acute behavioral and/or medical needs.
“This initiative is another step in Human Services’ efforts to develop and expand home and community-based services and to integrate physical, behavioral and social services in order to improve overall health outcomes and quality of life for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Commissioner Adelman stated.
She continued, “This plan focuses on increasing community capacity and housing options, so we are able to serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have acute behavioral and medical needs in the most appropriate settings.”
The $5 million comes from the federal Money Follows the Person (MFP) Program, which allows the department's Division of Developmental Disabilities to receive federal funding for eligible people during the first year of their home- and community-based services enrollment.
Those who are eligible are people who reside in a qualified institution for at least 60 days before they move to a community setting, are eligible for Medicaid, and are moving somewhere with four or fewer unrelated people.
“Community housing is always in demand for individuals with acute needs. Expanding our capacity further empowers individual choice, with our ultimate goal being to strengthen community infrastructure and ensure individuals are supported in their homes,” said Kaylee McGuire, Deputy Commissioner for Aging and Disability Services.
Providing funding from MFP is one of several initiatives New Jersey has implemented to get housing for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and acute needs. One of the other initiatives is increasing access to housing that is accessible and affordable to Medicaid-eligible people who are going from institutions to the community.
“This initiative allows the Division to continue working in concert with providers to incentivize targeted housing for individuals with complex needs. These new settings will enable individuals with high-level needs to choose from a larger array of providers and geographic locations across the state,” said Assistant Commissioner Jonathan Seifried, who also serves as the director of the division.
The Division is going to allocate $90,000 per home that meets certain criteria, such as only new sites being considered and individuals that move into the homes are eligible for Division services and are enrolled in the Community Care Program.
Providers can find out more about how to apply for the funding here.
The announcement comes a few days after Governor Phil Murphy signed three bills that are designed to tackle problems with housing affordability in the state.