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 (DCHW) 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 Blueprint for Equitable Development 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, we have reviewed data specific to homelessness to help 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 do not qualify for county aid, considered the most vulnerable chronically homeless.
  • The city devoted $3.3 million in 2019 to shelter these most vulnerable residents.
  • City of Newark has prevented 2,646 residents from becoming homeless through (DCHW) HUD administered 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.”

In March 2021, the City announced an innovative container shelter village initiative to assist the most vulnerable homeless population. The City implemented a cost effective solution to retrofit shipping containers for the creation of temporary shelter to address homelessness within the City. The container shelter initiative aims to provide a therapeutic and supportive environment to provide resources to a disenfranchised population.

These programs, rooted in Mayor Ras J. Baraka’s Newark Forward agenda, provide the resources and framework to shelter “residents without addresses”, along with, services needed to stabilize their lives in transition towards permanent housing.

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

Phase One

On February 5, 2021, Mayor Ras J. Baraka and City of Newark Homelessness Czar Sakinah Hoyte announced that the City partnered with five developers and service providers to create 100 transitional, permanent, and supportive housing units, to help end homelessness in Newark under the first phase of “Making Housing Homes: A Housing First Initiative.”

Phase Two

Responses to this second phase of the 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 residents. Most importantly, successful respondents will demonstrate their ability to service the homeless community and prevent homelessness recidivism through innovative service strategies and structural designs. The second phase includes, but is not limited to the development of two cutting edge, homeless permanent/transitional supportive service-oriented projects.

Although container projects are preferred, they are not a requirement for this second phase. Proposals for projects with standard housing units will be considered if they increase the housing stock for the most vulnerable and adhere to the requirements of this housing challenge.

Each project will consist of a minimum of 10 to 60 individual units developed using innovative designs. These housing units will provide housing first based transitional and permanent supportive housing. The housing units will require intensive onsite social service supports to provide stable housing and prevent homelessness recidivism.

While the Mayor’s Call to Action to End Homelessness mandates 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 adheres to the overall development goals.

The Making Housing Homes: A Housing First Initiative Phase Two opportunities include:

  • Up to 25% of capital/gap financing for construction, not to exceed a total of $2.5 million from the City’s Department of Economic and Housing Development (EHD); site control required* **
  • Up to 120 vouchers for operating assistance (HUD Section 8 voucher) from Newark Housing Authority (NHA); *
  • Up to 10 parcels of vacant, city owned land for $2 per square foot, from EHD (See Attachment);
  • Access to organizations that provide wrap around services, approved by the County of Essex Continuum of Care.

* Subject to funds availability (local, state and federal resources) and/or Municipal Council approval.

**Partner must have site control at time of submission.

***Preference to minority developers or collaborations with minority developers.

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

Submission Requirements


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. If the respondent considers that certain portions of the submission contain proprietary information, such portions should be clearly marked CONFIDENTIAL.


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

  1. Respondent’s Organization
  1. 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.
  2. An organizational chart that clearly illustrates the role of each team member.

  1. Competency of the Development Team
  1. Qualifications and experience of each entity and key staff person involved in the project.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  1. Project Narrative
  1. 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.
  2. A detailed project completion schedule with key dates prior to October 30, 2021
  3. 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 with associated timelines.

          ii.      Target population to be serviced. *Preference will be given to vulnerable homeless populations.

          iii.      Indicate the level and type of supportive services, both on and off-site, and service hours.

           iv.      Location of services (services are required be provided on site; if there are additional services that will provided off-site, please detail here)

           v.      Proposed source of funding for services (i.e. mobile medical clinic, etc....) (Please attach the Memorandum of Understanding / contract between Developer and COC approved service provider.)

          vi.      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.)

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

  1. Service Partners
  1. Applicant must partner with Newark-Essex Continuum of Care approved community-based organizations in service of homeless individuals and families. *Priority consideration may occur if the developer has an established partnership and existing projects with the service partner.
  2. Name of agency that will provide the services and their experience. Please attach, memorandum of understanding/contract, and three letters of endorsement relevant to the service agency. *Please limit number of pages per attachments if possible.
  3. Applicant will be expected to partner with the City of Newark’s Office of Homeless Services and the Newark Housing Authority to ensure the success and sustainability of housing for each housing consumer. Please describe your experience of partnering with community based service oriented agencies to service vulnerable populations.

  1. Financial Information
  1. 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.
  2. Sources and uses of funds statement, development budget including costs to meet the environmental/demolition requires and pro-forma cash flow projections for rental projects or sales revenue projection for for-sale projects.
  3. Amount of public assistance that will be sought, if any, and the proportion of public assistance to the total project cost.

Submission Address and Deadline

Responses to this solicitation must be submitted via electronic mail to no later than 4:00 p.m. on Monday, July 26, 2021. In addition, one original and two copies of Respondents’ Letter of Intent must be submitted via mail to following address:

City of Newark

Department of Economic and Housing Development

Attention: Office of the Director

920 Broad Street, Room 218

Newark, NJ 07102

Pre-Submission Conference

An informational conference will be held on Monday, July 12, 2021, at 12PM via Zoom. Attendance is not required, but is strongly encouraged. Respondents should RSVP for the meeting in order to be sent a Zoom invite and submit questions via email to no later than Friday July 9, 2021.

Although advance notice of the questions is preferred, City staff will be available to answer questions regarding the property, goals and objectives of the Call for Partners and the submission requirements during the meeting.  Zoom meeting invites will be sent to applicants in advance of the meeting.

Decision Timeline

The City will notify partners of interviews and/or follow up questions in early to mid-August 2021.  Partner selections will be announced in late August to early September 2021.  All partner selections are subject to Municipal Council approval.


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