Englewood Planning Ambitious New Housing Projects for Seniors and Residents with Special Needs
Housing for our seniors and residents with special needs is a very important topic for our future and as such it was contemplated by the new Englewood Master Plan.
I have called upon our Housing Authority to create a detailed plan for the future that will address the needs of our senior and special needs individuals. Now that we have taken the first step I am looking forward to making this dream – affordable quality housing for seniors and those with special needs – a reality.
The following press release gives greater detail on that plan and its underpinnings. I ask you to stay tuned as we take the next important steps in this process.
Mayor Frank Huttle
Huttle Calls on Englewood Housing Authority to Help Spearhead Ambitious New Housing Projects
Mayor Moving Forward with Plans Laid out in New Master Plan for Senior and Special Needs Housing
ENGLEWOOD – Mayor Frank Huttle III today called on the Englewood Housing Authority to support his vision for affordable, quality housing for seniors and residents with special needs as part of the comprehensive blueprint for Englewood’s future that he recently laid out in the city’s new master plan.
“Our new master plan is essentially a road map for Englewood for decades to come,” said Huttle. “In order for it to be effective, it needs to represent the needs of Englewood’s diverse community. Affordable housing for seniors and special needs individuals is crucial to ensuring that everyone can live and age in our community as self-sufficiently as possible.”
A recent report put out by the non-profit, nonpartisan organization New Jersey Future considered four key development characteristics when evaluating municipalities that enable older residents to accomplish their daily activities without having to drive long distances on busy regional roads – density of destinations, presence of a mixed-use downtown, existence of a well-connected street network and access to public transportation. The report also found that half the places in Bergen and Passaic County that have the most aging-friendly features lack adequate types of housing for older residents.
“While Englewood ranks high in all four of these characteristics, we have a challenge to confront, like many other municipalities throughout the state – we must prioritize the development of housing that accommodates the needs of older residents and allows them to ‘age in place.’ We shouldn’t wait until the crisis is on our doorstep. It’s time to start planning and acting now,” added Huttle.
With that in mind, Huttle hopes to see a new senior housing building constructed at relatively little cost to the city, perhaps by joining with non-profit developers and utilizing tax credit incentives. He also hopes to couple this vision with a smaller project of 8 to 12 units for adults with special needs.
In order to make these plans a reality, Huttle hopes to create public-private partnerships and maximize existing benefits under federal and state programs.
“Our goals have been laid out in the Master Plan and now it’s time to set them in motion. I hope the Englewood Housing Authority will embrace these goals and help spearhead these projects as we move forward,” added Huttle.
Huttle noted that Englewood is comprised of residents of all ages, with roughly 10 percent of households consisting of someone 65 years or older living alone, according to the 2010 census. Equally significant is that nearly 30 percent of the population is aged 45-64, meaning the demand for affordable senior housing will increase significantly over the next several decades.
“Lifelong residents should have options to continue to live and enjoy living in Englewood and should not be pushed out of the city as they age because of affordability,” added Huttle.
Huttle also noted that there are approximately 40,000 individuals with special needs in New Jersey. With roughly 8,000 of these individuals in need of housing at the moment, New Jersey is facing a crisis that will only worsen as existing state-run developmental centers are in the process of being closed by the administration.
“People who live in supportive housing pay taxes, shop and work in local stores, and contribute to the vibrancy of our community. This is the right thing to do for our neighbors with special needs and an important step in addressing a deep need within our community,” said Huttle.