Growing evidence shows that healthy communities are a result of more than just quality medical care. In fact, many experts agree that other factors, like poverty and housing, can have a major impact on one's health.
To foster healthier communities in our state, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver visited Paterson on July 10th to announce an innovative state partnership program that will promote hospitals' investments in affordable and supportive housing in their communities, including homes for residents with special needs and those who frequently utilize emergency services.
Lt. Gov. Oliver said, "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. 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."
NJCDC is proud to partner with St. Joseph's Health and New Jersey Community Capital on the first development under the state's Hospital Housing Partnership Program. NJCDC, as developer, will construct a 70-unit building just a few hundred feet away from St. Joe's, on a currently-vacant lot the hospital owns. The Barclay Street development will provide "healthy home" housing for hard-working Patersonians, whose lives will improve because of this project.
In addition, ten of the one- to three-bedroom apartments will be reserved for frequent users of the emergency room and individuals with special needs, who will receive support services. Furthermore, the bottom floor of the Barclay Street development will act as a wellness hub, with spaces for residents to receive social, health, and wellness services, including workshops and referrals to healthcare providers.
NJCDC CEO Bob Guarasci said, "As a community organization committed to Paterson's revitalization, we are very pleased to partner on this project with St. Joseph's Health. 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."
St. Joseph's Health President & CEO Kevin J. Slavin said, "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. 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."
Jeff Crum, Chief Investment Officer for New Jersey Community Capital said, "We couldn't be more proud to work collaboratively with NJCDC and St. Joseph's Health to bring such a transformative project to life. We look forward to being an active partner every step of the way and are excited about a project that can make a difference to so many individuals and families."
The construction is expected to be completed in 2021.