Funding from New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Helps Placing Children by Bringing Homes up to Code
JERSEY CITY –Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy announced that the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is administering a $100,000 grant to help prospective foster parents correct any physical problems with their homes that may be impeding them from caring for foster children.
―In these difficult times, our City is working to find ways that we can help as many people as possible,‖ said Mayor Healy. ―We are particularly concerned about helping the generous families who want to provide displaced children with safe, loving homes.
The Foster Care Rehab Program funding — which is to be utilized for the homes of four Jersey City families — has been provided by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) in conjunction with its Neighborhood Preservation Program. Jersey City is the lead city in this program, and one of only three New Jersey municipalities to be awarded this funding.
The EDC has partnered with the New Jersey Division of Youth & Family Services (DYFS) and the Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children. DYFS and CASA identify families who need assistance in resolving the ―Level I‖ and ―Level II‖ violations in their homes that are prohibiting children from being placed with them.
Mayor Healy explained that the Level I and II violations pertain to conditions that affect a family’s safety and welfare, and may include roofing, plumbing, electrical, window and other such problems. The Foster Care Rehab Program grant specifies that all work must be done by qualified, certified contractors, who are selected by the homeowners through an open-bid process. Additionally before any work may begin, testing for elevated levels of lead throughout the houses must be conducted.
In Jersey City’s first Foster Care Rehab Program project, which is nearing completion, the work involved repairing a leaky roof, adding a closet to the room that will be used by the foster child, and scaring/replacing flaking paint, Mayor Healy said. Two other families have been identified for the program and work will soon begin on those homes. DYFS and CASA are reviewing cases to identify a fourth family.