Transitional, Housing First and Permanent Supporting Housing Units for Mayor Ras J. Baraka’s Making Housing Homes: “A Housing First Initiative”


Two years ago, Mayor Ras J. Baraka along with the Municipal Council reestablished the Homelessness Commission (September 2018), chaired by Denise V. Rodgers, MD, FAAFP, Vice Chancellor of Interprofessional Programs at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS). Through Dr. Rodgers’ leadership along with the 15 public and private members and in partnership with Dr. Mark Wade, Director, Department of Community Health and Wellness (DCWH) for the City of Newark, NJ, the Homelessness Commission embarked on the development of actions to assist our “residents without addresses” find a place to call home. Simultaneously, the Homelessness Commission would work to ensure that our “residents without addresses” had the necessary supports to create successful healthy housing options complete with the wrap around supportive services.

Embodied in the Newark Forward- A blueprint for Equitable Growth and Opportunity in Newark is a vision that our individuals and families should have housing that is safe, decent, healthy and affordable. Furthermore, we should provide proper supportive services.

As the city implements a comprehensive strategy to end homelessness in Newark, NJ, we need to start with understanding the numbers and then develop an action plan to accelerate our approach to housing our “residents without addresses”.

2020 Data

  • There are 1,859 mainly adult homeless people in the city.
  • 86 percent of those are sheltered each night in 28 shelters funded by the county.
  • In six of those shelters, the city adds additional funds for the 25 percent that don’t qualify for county aid, considered the most vulnerable chronically homeless.
  • The city devoted $3.3 million in 2019 to shelter these must vulnerable residents.
  • Newark has prevented 2,646 residents from becoming homeless through (DHWC) emergency shelter grants.

Moving forward in 2020, the city’s sheltering efforts focused on being more creative and placed a heavy focus on case management” with an emphasis on placing people into “the needed supportive services and out of the shelters into transitional and supportive, permanent housing.” These programs worked to implement a comprehensive and aggressive program to shelter “residents without addresses” and provide them with the services they need to help them stabilize their lives in transitional, then permanent housing.

Housing Challenge - Call for Partners - The Making Housing Homes: A Housing First Initiative

The City of Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Sakinah Hoyte, Homelessness Czar are pleased to issue a Call for Partners to further accelerate Mayor Baraka’s vision for creating healthy, permanent and affordable housing options for our “residents without addresses”. The Making Housing Homes: A Housing First Initiative is seeking nonprofit, for profit and other partners to develop transitional, permanent supportive housing and housing first units.

The Homelessness Commission along with the City of Newark believes that the Housing First model is one of success nationally and we want to replicate this best practice for our “residents without addresses”. By way of background, Housing First is an approach to quickly and successfully connect individuals and families experiencing homelessness to permanent housing without preconditions and barriers to entry, such as sobriety, treatment or service participation requirements. Supportive services are offered to maximize housing stability and prevent returns to homelessness as opposed to addressing predetermined treatment goals prior to permanent housing entry. Housing First emerged as an alternative to the linear approach in which people experiencing homelessness were required to first participate in and graduate from short-term residential and treatment programs before obtaining permanent housing. In the linear approach, permanent housing was offered only after a person experiencing homelessness could demonstrate that they were “ready” for housing.

Responses to this Call for Partners will be expected to adhere to the Mayor’s homelessness strategy and vision to increase the City of Newark’s housing stock for the most vulnerable homeless. The vision for the Mayor’s plan to end homelessness includes the development of 300 units to include housing first, transitional and permanent supportive housing. The vision aligns with the City’s need to aggressively address the affordable housing and homelessness crisis present throughout the country, state and city. The aforementioned housing units will require social service supports, to further promote, the success of those housed and to prevent

homelessness recidivism. Each project is expected to include a minimum of three units and a max of 30 units with a preference for mixed use.

While the Mayor’s Call to Action to End Homelessness calls for specific minimum and maximum unit requirements with social service supports attached to said units, the City may consider making slight amendments to the Plan to accommodate reasonable design proposals that still align with the overall development goals.

The Making Houses Homes – A Housing First Initiative opportunities include:

  • Up to $2 million of capital/gap financing for construction, not to exceed $500,000 per partner; no greater than $50,000 per unit from Economic and Housing Development (EHD); site control required*;
  • Up to 100 vouchers for operating assistance (HUD Section 8 voucher) from Newark Housing Authority;
  • Up to 10 parcels of vacant, city owned land for $2 a square foot, from Economic and Housing Development (EHD);
  • Access to organizations that provide wrap around services, approved by the County of Essex Continuum of Care; Essex County CEAS/COC Agency Profile Directory

*partner must have site control at time of submission; subject to fund availability (local, state and federal resources) and/or Municipal Council approval

Note. All development must be completed within 18 months of award notice.

Submission Requirements

Format: Submissions must be prepared as 8.5-by-11-inch PDF files. Any drawings/renderings included with submissions must be formatted as no larger than 11-by-17 inches PDF files. If the respondent considers that certain portions of the submission contain proprietary information, such portions should be clearly marked CONFIDENTIAL.

Contents: The submission must be organized so that each of the following numbered sections is included in the report in order and prominently identified. All of the items described below must be provided.

1. Cover Letter

a. The cover letter must briefly describe the proposed development project, requested assistance (land, capital/gap financing, operating assistance (NHA/HUD Section 8 voucher)), identify the benefits that the project will create for the City the homeless residents, the intended service provisions and describe the respondent’s experience in similar development efforts.

2. Respondent’s Organization

a. A statement describing the legal form of the development entity, including identification of the principal representatives and individuals authorized to negotiate on its behalf. Provide a description of the contractual structure of the respondent (joint venture, partnership, etc.) and duties of respondent parties.

b. An organizational chart that clearly illustrates the role of each team member.

3. Competency of the Development Team

a. Qualifications and experience of each entity and key staff person involved in the project.

b. A description of the project development capability of the entity as evidenced by the ability to complete projects of similar scope, use, or complexity within the last three years. Submitted examples must include project identification, a brief description, current status, total development cost, type of financial structure, sources of debt financing, public financial support, if any, and the size of equity investment. Provide contact information for references.

c. A description of the financial capacity of the entity as evidenced by the ability to finance projects of similar scope within the last three years, proven ability to raise equity capital, by indications of lender interest in the proposed development and by financial statements, annual reports, and other submitted documentation.

4. Project Narrative

a. A detailed description of the project including land uses based upon zoning standards intended users of the development, and identification of proposed tenants and end-users, if known, or anticipated type of tenants/end-users, if unknown.

b. A detailed project completion schedule with key dates prior to June 30, 2020.

c. Please provide a brief summary of the type of services which will be available for clients including:

i. Type of Services to be provided and expected outcomes to be achieved

ii. Indicate the level and type of supportive services, both on and off-site

iii. Location of services (on or off-site, and if off-site, location)

iv. Proposed source of funding for services (i.e. mobile medical clinic, etc....)

v. Describe level and frequency of case management, including the case manager to client ratio, along with case plan timeline (Please attach a copy of the social service agency client assessment/intake form and case plan template)

d. Describe the Coordinated Service Delivery Plan including overflow management.

5. Service Partners

a. Priority consideration may occur if the Partner has an established partnership with an County of Essex Continuum of Care approved community-based organizations that serve the homeless individuals and families.

b. Name of agency which will provide the services and their experience. Please attach, memorandum of understanding and letters of endorsement (3) relevant to the service agency. *Please limit number of pages per attachments if possible.

6. Financial Information

a. A narrative overview of the financial structure of the proposal. The respondent must identify the sources of equity investment and the sources and terms of lender financing.

b. Sources and uses of funds statement, development and pro-forma cash flow projections.

c. Amount of public assistance that will be sought must be 50% or less of the total development cost.

Submission Address and Deadline

Responses to this solicitation must be submitted via electronic mail no later than 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday December 16, 2020.

Pre-Submission Conference

An informational conference will be held on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 12PM via Zoom. Attendance is not required, but is strongly encouraged.

Respondents are encouraged to RSVP for the meeting and submit questions via email to no later than Monday, November 30, 2020.

Zoom meeting invites will be sent to applicants who RSVP via email to no later than Tuesday December 1, 2020.


Prospective respondents may ask questions at the meeting, as well but advance notice of the questions is preferred. City staff will be available to answer questions regarding the property, the goals and objectives of the Call for Partners and the submission requirements. All questions should be submitted by email to

Decision Timeline

The City anticipates notifying the partners of interviews and/or follow up questions in January 2021 and partner selections anticipated in February 2021. All partner selections are subject to Municipal Council approval.

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