Newark, NJ - April 26, 2021 - Mayor Ras J. Baraka, City of Newark Homelessness Czar Sakinah Hoyte, in partnership with the City’s Economic Housing and Development Department and the Newark Housing Authority, today announced that the City will again challenge developers and service providers to partner to create up to 120 Housing First transitional, permanent, and supportive housing units, to help end homelessness in Newark under the second phase of the Making Housing Homes: A Housing First Initiative challenge.
Phase two of the program, Making Housing Homes: A Housing First Initiative calls for private sector developers and non-profit organizations to submit proposals for innovative and therapeutic container housing developments with onsite social service offerings to the City by Monday, May 24.
“Homelessness is a moral issue that demands our greatest efforts to achieve a solution,” Mayor Baraka said. “We need to provide our most vulnerable residents with decent homes and the tools they need to regain control of their lives. We are maintaining our focus on our efforts to bring hope and empowerment to more residents and families, doing so with professionalism, compassion, and unity.”
Each of the two container developments is expected to include 30-60 units. Special consideration will be given to local based minority developers and developers that partner with local minority based developers. The housing units will require onsite social service supports, to promote the success of those housed and to prevent homelessness recidivism.
The City has partnered with the Newark Housing Authority to administer housing vouchers to eligible residents without addresses, which has been proved to reduce homelessness, while helping those individuals pay for housing in the private market.
“As an extension of its mission to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing, the Housing Authority has pledged any support necessary to assure that this program becomes a success,” said Newark Housing Authority Executive Director Victor Cirilo. “We will not achieve true progress until we exhaust every resource necessary to help those with the most need.”
While the Mayor’s Call to Action to End Homelessness calls for specific minimum and maximum unit requirements, the City may consider making slight amendments to the plan to accommodate reasonable design proposals that still align with the overall development goals.
“This year more than 6,000 individuals have filed evictions in our region,” said Ms. Hoyte. “These filings represent the crux of this moment and our need for housing units. As housing insecurity amongst Americans worsens, the need for housing becomes more paramount.”
Phase Two of the Making Housing Homes: A Housing First Initiative opportunities include:
• Up to 25% of capital/gap financing for construction, not to exceed a total of $2.5 million from Newark’s Economic Housing and Development Department*
• Up to 120 project-based vouchers for operating assistance (HUD Section 8 voucher) from Newark Housing Authority*
• Access to organizations that provide wrap around services, approved by the County of Essex Continuum of Care
*subject to fund availability (local, state and federal resources) and/or Municipal Council approval
An informational conference will be held on Monday, May 10, at noon via Zoom. Respondents are encouraged to RSVP for the meeting and submit questions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Thursday, May 6.
Responses to this solicitation, as well as all interested parties must express their interest via e-mail to email@example.com no later than Monday, May 24, at 4 p.m.
For more information, visit: https://www.newarknj.gov/departments/housing-first-initiative
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