Plans are underway to debut a new affordable housing development in New Jersey for 11 homeless LGBTQ individuals, including individuals with disabilities.
The LGBT RAIN Foundation, an LGBTQ organization providing transitional and permanent housing for young queer adults between the ages of 18 and 26, unveiled plans to bring a small but supportive LGBTQ housing building to the public on June 29 at 25-27 Roseville Avenue at the corner of Sussex Avenue in Newark, New Jersey. Monarch Housing, a non-profit development consulting group, is joining the project. The building will include 11 one-bedroom units.
Residents would have access to case management, mental health, financial services, and other programs to support their development in the facility. This building is part of the Continuum of Care program, a statewide initiative providing long-term solutions and prevention services to end homelessness.
“The building will address the needs of underserved, chronically homeless LGBTQ young adults and those with disabilities,” RAIN said in a written statement. “The units will provide safe, affordable, and supportive housing, allowing residents to become independent and self-sufficient.”
The initiative has garnered support from Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey. In a statement, Menendez praised advocates for developing solutions to aid homeless LGBTQ people.
“Homelessness in the LGBTQ community is often too prevalent, but everyone in our society, regardless of sexual orientation, deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” Menendez said in a written statement. “I applaud the LGBT RAIN Foundation for building a safe place for LGBTQ individuals to live and receive quality health and financial services. It’s through federal, state, local, and private partnerships that important projects, like this one, which can transform lives, are possible.”
Similarly, in a letter, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared support for the housing development.
“I am pleased to congratulate the LGBT RAIN Foundation and the founder and executive director, Elaine Helms, on opening another supportive housing location in Newark,” Murphy said in a letter on June 28. “For years, the RAIN Foundation has been committed to strengthening our community by providing support and shelter to adolescents who identify as LGBTQIA+. This new building on the corner of Roseville Avenue and Sussex Avenue will positively impact the lives of several currently homeless individuals by providing them with a safe, decent, affordable, and supportive home.”
Far more expansive efforts have sought to bring LGBTQ-inclusive housing to New York City. Two years ago, housing advocates launched an LGBTQ-friendly 16-story, 145-unit apartment building in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and this year, another developer announced plans to feature an LGBTQ center in a Harlem affordable housing unit.
A ceremony celebrating RAIN’s proposal will commence at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 11:30 a.m.