Issue Description:

Overall, New Jersey’s system for housing individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in community-based settings is underfunded, underdeveloped and lacking in options.

The level of housing support both at the federal and state level does not provide sufficient affordable housing option for individuals with developmental disabilities.  Families and advocates call for more options and choices from a wide variety of models and request clear rules and process for the Community Integration approval procedures.

Additionally, as the population continues to age the demand for the limited supply of affordable accessible options becomes more difficult to obtain within current available programs.

Issue Action Items:

  1. Work collaboratively with state level lawmakers to advocate for increased state and federal funding to increase housing stock in New Jersey.
  2. Obtain guidelines for the community integration review to include more housing options and greater flexibility for people with disabilities and their families.
  3. 30-day timetable for advocates and families to meet with the Commissioner of DHS to discuss and define the framework for the community integration review and approval process, with a clear methodology and should include what is the appeal process and the expected timetable for approval.
  4. A statement from the Commissioner of DHS that defines community action plans and includes a wide variety of models for families and self-advocates to develop and create housing opportunity.
  5. Capital funding increases for all levels of investments Federal, State and Municipal.
  6. Federal Government approval of NJ State Transition Plan (CMS).
  7. Develop a housing leadership /advisor group to meet regularly to discuss issues and develop solutions.

Next Steps:

  1. The housing group’s main ask is that the DDAN and key system users are included in all phases of the housing discussion and decision making processes
  2. DDAN and key system users must have the opportunity to provide input as stakeholders who have knowledge of the available resource, and an understanding of what will be need in the community going forward to create a comprehensive housing plan for New Jersey.
  3. We are concerned about the number of available housing units and the limited options that exist for families and self -advocates, and would ask that a small group of stakeholders be included as part of the Commissioner of DHS’s advisory team with the opportunity to aid in the development of new housing options in the State.
  4. Advocate for the development of affordable accessible options to meet the physical needs of many system users.
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