During the Covid lockdown and throughout this year, NJDH has continued to work to bring Deaf Housing to NJ. We have put together a detailed Business proposal and met many people from NJ organizations that can help make our dream of Deaf Housing in NJ come true!
An exceptional opportunity has been found. The former boy’s dormitory at Katzenbach School, formerly NJ School for the Deaf, is now vacant and available. NJDH is working to make this property a home as well as a center for New Jersey’s Deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing adult communities. NJDH is very hopeful and excited. It isn’t final yet but we are really getting close to make our dream of NJ Deaf Housing a reality. Much hard work remains including getting a final lease from NJ and raising an estimated $5 million for the renovation of the dormitory.
NJDH will partner with a NJ developer with experience in Supportive projects. We have had discussions already with three developers. These developers have toured the building and are enthusiastic about this opportunity. The chosen developer will finance the renovation with federal and state funding. The renovated building will have safe, pleasant, and affordable individual independent apartments. An architect estimated the building could be renovated to have one bedroom apartments with a living room/kitchen, a bath and bedroom. There are two very large community rooms for meetings, card games, TV etc., a lovely lawn area for picnics and plenty of parking. Once this first Deaf Housing is completed, developers have told us NJ should have two more since so many people want to move into Deaf Housing. But we need this first project to be a wonderful success. We will keep you posted about the progress.
NJDH has received enthusiastic support from the Katzenbach business manager, Dr. Allwyn Baskin, the Assistant Commissioner of Education, Dr. Anthony Wright, and most importantly from the NJ State Senate President, Stephen Sweeney. Senator Sweeney’s letter to the governor, state treasurer and commissioner of education is included here.