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Division of Family Development (DFD) NJ Department of Human Services.

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Presentation on theme: "Division of Family Development (DFD) NJ Department of Human Services."— Presentation transcript:

1 Division of Family Development (DFD) NJ Department of Human Services

2 Why is housing important to TANF recipients in NJ?  New Jersey has the highest housing costs in the country  In a Dec. 2001 report, the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey stated that:  22.8% of low-income families experienced “housing hardship” in 1999 (unable to pay rent, mortgage or utilities during previous 12 months)  In 2000, 44% of renters in NJ were unable to afford the Fair Market Rent for a 2-BR unit.  Many of our low-income families are one crisis away from returning to welfare  New Jersey’s housing initiatives are helping low-income working families stabilize their finances, minimize financial crisis and, where feasible, become first-time home buyers

3 Housing Assistance Program (HAP)  Created in 1997 as partnership between DHS & NJ Dept. of Community Affairs (DCA)  Provided temporary housing subsidies to eligible WFNJ families transitioning to work  Administered by DCA & funded by DFD ($6M for 3 year period...$2M per year)  Subsidy reduced as client’s income increased. Savings from reduced subsidy were put into client’s escrow account, to help with future costs 350 clients assisted in 5 major urban cities

4 Supportive Housing Demonstration Program (SHDP) A Public / Private Partnership Long Term Support Program

5 Goals of LTSP SHDP 1. Permanent 2. Affordable 3. Linked to Residential Support Services 4. Geographically Distributed 5. Partnerships

6 Overview of LTSP Legal Services of New Jersey All LTSP Program Participants 941 Assist LTSP Participants in Applying for SSI or Appealing Denial of SSI Case Management Initiative All LTSP Program Participants 941 Conduct Needs Assessment and Provide Case Management Refer Inappropriately Housed to SHDP Supportive Housing Demonstration Program 80 to 100 Participants Create Affordable, Permanent Housing Opportunities Connected with Residential Support Services

7 Other Innovative Approaches Social Services for the Homeless (SSH)  State appropriation of $8M to assist families and individuals who are working and homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless ( and are not eligible for WFNJ).  Services include: emergency food and shelter, payment of back rent or utilities and security deposits, etc.  SSH serves 100,000 people annually.  Each county receives an annual allocation to provide services under contract with DFD.  Additional $2M in TANF funds allocated to augment SSH services for working families with incomes up to 250% of the federal poverty level. Provides non-recurring, short-term assistance (not beyond 4 months).

8 TANF funding used to wrap around Section 8 Vouchers Other Innovative Approaches  $4 M in TANF dollars set aside to help clients utilize their Section 8 Certificates  Extremely low vacancy rate makes finding a landlord to accept Section 8 difficult  Funds can be used for security deposits, moving or other expenses  Allows payments to landlords while repairs are made to bring a unit up to Section 8 standards

9 Housing Subsidy Program (MOE monies) Other Innovative Approaches  Ongoing rental assistance or one-time expenses, such as moving costs, utility turn-on or security deposit  Current & former TANF clients with earned income up to 150% of FPL, spending 40% or more of income on rent  TANF recipients who are employed and working at least 20 hrs. per week for the past 4 months  Must voluntarily close their welfare case  Assistance up to 24 months

10 Issues in using TANF funds for Housing  TANF final regulations define housing as “assistance”  Therefore, payments toward housing costs for a working family could make their TANF clock run (after 4 months)  Recommend treating housing like transportation, child care and Medicaid

11 Key Contacts  Liza Nolan, New Jersey Program Director Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) 609-392-7820; fax 609-392-7818  Larry Hatton Department of Human Services Policy and Planning 698-984-9335; fax 609-984-7380  Barbara DeGraaf NJ Division of Family Development 609-588-2405; fax 609-588-3369

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