After the COVID lockdown, NJDH has been working on an opportunity to renovate the vacant boy’s dorm (Building 24) at the Marie Katzenbach School for the Deaf (MKSD). The renovation from a dormitory to apartments and community rooms will cost about $7 million which includes removing asbestos, adding an elevator, new windows, electric and heating, air conditioning, etc. To fund this project, NJDH will need grants to pay for these renovations. To get these grants, a 30 year lease with the state is required. NJDH has been working with Triple C Housing a NJ supportive housing developer and the staff from Marie Katzenbach School for the Deaf (MKSD), the NJ Department of Education (DOE), and the NJ Attorney General’s office to obtain a contract for the 30 year lease of Building 24. See the timeline.
As of now, we are waiting to get approval from the Attorney General for a draft contract. Then this draft contract must be reviewed by attorneys for NJDH and TCH. Once we get approval and sign the contract, we can start the renovation and move on and return to fundraising events.
TIMELINE: Activities NJDH AND BUILDING 24 at MKSD/NJSD
June 2021: Tour of building 24 with Brandywine Developers and Signature Builders
July 2021: Tour of building 24 with Triple C Housing (TCH), a NJ supportive housing developer.
August 2021: Tour of building with Region Nine, a NJ supportive housing developer.
August 2021: NJ State Senator Sweeney sent a strong letter of support to NJ state authorities.
Sept 2021 : NJDH and TCH agreed to work together to prepare a proposal for renovating the building.
Oct 2021: A letter was sent requesting a long term lease to Dr. Wright, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Education, and Dr. Baskin (MKSD)
Dec 2021: The NJDH and TCH proposal to renovate building 24 and obtain a long term lease was sent to Dr. Wright, Dr. Baskin and other staff from the DOE and MKSD.
Feb. 2022: Zoom meeting with TCH staff, Dr. Wright, and Joe Vitelli, Director of Administration, NJ DOE
June 2022: NJDH received a list of questions from the NJ Attorney General (AG) office on a preliminary contract.
July 2022: NJDH and TCH responded to these questions and sent to Joe Vitelli
Sept 2022: Tele-meeting with Joe Vitelli who indicated the responses to questions were approved and would be sent to the NJ AG for review.
Oct 2022: Meeting with Dr. Wright, NJDH and TCH about waiting for a response from the NJ AG office. Dr. Wright informed NJDH that the responses for the preliminary contract had been sent to the NJ AG’s office with a priority on Oct. 12th.
Nov 2022: Updated information was sent to Dr. Wright on monetary pledges made to NJDH for 2022 on signing a long term contract for renovation of Building 24. Dr. Wright sent this additional information and requested a meeting.
Nov. 2022: Vice President of NJDH gave a testimonial speech to DHS to advocate for Deaf Housing in NJ.
MARCH 29, 2023
NJDH Vice President (Kathy Kady-Hopkins) gave a testimonial speech to the State of NJ Budget Legislature Assembly on the morning of March 29, 2023, to push for the need for a signed contract for Building 24 at New Jersey School for the Deaf to use for senior housing.