Van Sciver Supportive Housing Receives 2014 Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Award

Posted on: September 15th, 2014 by Jeffrey Miller No Comments

Van Sciver Supportive Housing

09.15.2014 — Representing the third project designed by Kitchen & Associates (K&A) to receive a 2014 Governor’s Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Award, the Van Sciver Supportive Housing development, located in Closter, New Jersey, was a recent recipient of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency’s (NJHMFA) annual award, which celebrates the best in housing revitalization, public-private economic development partnerships, and supportive housing developments throughout the state. Developed by Vantage Health System, Inc. (VHS), Van Sciver Supportive Housing provides permanent affordable housing, along with a variety of much-needed supportive services, to low-income individuals with mental illness, including the chronically homeless. Winning in the category of Leading Supportive Housing Development Through Creative Partnerships, the Van Sciver project was honored by NJHMFA for “providing housing and supportive services for individuals with special needs that are well-integrated into the community, improving the quality of life and independence of residents.” This year’s honorees will receive their awards at the 2014 Governor’s Conference on Housing and Economic Development on September 22-23, 2014 in Atlantic City.

In perfect alignment with this year’s category of Development Through Creative Partnership, the completion of the Van Sciver Supportive Housing community represents the successful and comprehensive collaboration between a variety of key stakeholders and partner organizations. VHS provided the leadership, vision and assistance with funding for the project, K&A provided the design, and the Borough of Closter—committed to the goal of providing affordable housing opportunities throughout its community—donated the land. Additional partners on the project included The State of New Jersey, Monarch Housing, the Bergen County Division of Community Development, the Housing Authority of Bergen County, the Corporation of Supportive Housing, Integrity Build, LLC and Haven Homes. The financing for the project was also a collaborative effort, with funding secured by VHS through a number of state and federal sources, including NJHMFA’s Special Needs Trust Fund, the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addictions, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.

From the outset, Van Sciver Supportive Housing was conceived and designed to provide a full range of services to low-income individuals with mental illness including case management, recreation and socialization, community integration, transportation, advocacy, and crisis intervention. The design of the facility, with sixteen individual studio apartments and a variety of common gathering areas, offers the residents an intimate and supportive environment that both respects individual privacy while simultaneously encouraging community integration and socialization. Each of the units includes a full kitchen with breakfast bar and a combination living/sleeping space, all designed to provide residents with an overall sense of personal autonomy and dignity within their own living environment. Shared spaces, such as the centrally-located common gathering area, activity room, laundry room, lobby and exterior patio area, encourage residents to come together, interact and socialize. In addition to creating amenities internal to the site, the project team carefully selected a location that was also in close proximity to the local town center, municipal bus lines and public facilities, allowing Van Sciver residents easy access to the local library, houses of worship, restaurants, shops and a variety of other local resources.

The Van Sciver development achieves high sustainability performance in a variety of areas including water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality, and site development. Energy efficient features of the new development include “low-flow” plumbing fixtures with dual flush toilets, fluorescent ENERGY STAR® rated lighting fixtures, photo sensor/timer-controlled lights and fans, exterior lighting with cut-off shields to reduce light pollution, and ENERGY STAR® appliances in each individual apartment. And to underscore the project’s significance when it comes to green and sustainable design principles, Van Sciver Supportive Housing was the first LEED® Gold-Certified supportive housing project completed in the state of New Jersey.


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