Housing Programs for Special Populations
Housing for NJ Seniors
In the state of New Jersey, 17 different types of housing arrangements are available for older adults. Help paying for some of these options may be available for individuals with low income. In addition to housing assistance, many communities offer their senior residents additional services including transportation, congregate housing services, emergency response systems linked to hospitals or police stations, hospital outpatient medical services, healthcare education programs for the elderly and their families, shopping services, and telephone monitoring and personal visits by volunteers. Check with your County Area Agency on Aging for the availability of services in your area or call 1-877-222-3737 for further information.
Housing for People with Disabilities
Subsidized housing specifically designated for seniors and people with disabilities is available throughout the state. To locate subsidized housing that has accessibility features, look for the International Symbol for Accessibility when searching the NJ Housing Resource Center listings.
The Supportive Housing Association of New Jersey (SHANJ) has developed a 'Housing Hub' in connection with New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities. The Hub encourages and enables individuals and families to establish a home that promotes the utmost independence.
For a comprehensive review of the landscape of supportive housing in New Jersey read The Journey to Community Housing with Supports.
The NJ Department of Human Services has a page on their website that is dedicated to housing resources for people with disabilities. Here you can find resource centers, councils dedicated to fair housing, and more.
Reverse Mortgages for Senior Citizens
A reverse mortgage enables seniors (62 and over) to access the equity in their home without a monthly repayment schedule for as long as they live in the home. Loan proceeds can be taken in a lump sum, monthly payments, line of credit or some combination of these options. The amount of the loan is determined by property value and borrower age. Counseling is required. Find a reverse mortgage counselor near you online or by calling (800) 569-4287.
Unlike other forms of assistance, a reverse mortgage has no restriction on the value of property, income requirements or verification. The loan plus all accrued interest can be prepaid, but generally is repaid from the proceeds from the sale of the home. Any funds remaining after repayment of the loan are paid to the borrower or their estate.
Housing Programs for Veterans
Veterans Home Buyer Program
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs offers low-interest rate mortgages that provide veterans and their families with increased buying power and a savings of thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan. Most homeownership loans are originated by private lenders that are approved to participate in the programs. More than 55 participating lenders with hundreds of locations throughout the state offer VA-backed mortgage products and can help determine the right mortgage for you.
VA home buyer loans often require no down payment and offer a below-market, fixed interest rate. Closing costs may not be included in the loan, however, the seller is allowed to pay most costs, which makes it possible for a veteran to buy with virtually no cash down. Closing costs generally include VA appraisal, credit report, escrow, title evidence, recording fees, a 1% loan origination fee and discount points.
Additional resources from our readers
Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)
The Housing Opportunities Program provides housing assistance and supportive services for low-income persons with HIV/AIDS and their families by subsidizing a portion of the household's monthly rent. Assisted households are responsible for paying approximately 30% of their adjusted monthly income for rent and utilities. The program pays the balance of the rent to the landlord. The rent plus the utility allowance must be reasonable and may not exceed HUD's Fair Market Rent for the area.
Eligible applicants must:
- be referred to the program by a participating HIV/AIDS service provider agency
- have a medical professional verify HIV/AIDS status
- be receiving HIV/AIDS case management
- meet current Housing Opportunities Program income guidelines
- live within the metropolitan statistical area to which they are applying
Learn more about this program by calling 609-633-9099 or emailing Dale.McClendon@dca.nj.gov.