Conference Agenda

Please click the link here to review the Conference Agenda planned for November 3, 2023. A detailed review of the workshops is provided below.

Keynote Speaker - Peggy Bailey

Building Lasting Equity Into the Housing System

Joining us from Washington, D.C., Peggy Bailey, Vice President for Housing and Income Security at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) will share her unique perspective on the changes happening right now that are setting the direction for a more equitable future. Today we can see how racism and discrimination in housing and health policies have driven disparate outcomes for marginalized groups everywhere. Yet there are glimmers of hope where innovative trends are expanding opportunities at the foundational level that are transforming communities. With over twenty years of experience at the intersection of housing and healthcare and a deep understanding of the underlying justice issues, Peggy Bailey offers us a vision of how strategic investments and changes in policy can ensure that everyone has a place to call home.

Read more about this year's keynote speaker here.

Welcome Address - Jacquelyn A Suárez

Welcome Address SHA Conference with Acting Commissioner Jacquelyn A. Suarez of NJ DCA.

SHA gratefully thanks Jacquelyn A Suárez, Acting Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, for offering our Welcome Address.

Click on the workshop title for related materials.

Session 1: 10:00 AM – 11:15 AM

  • Coming Home: Past, Current and Future Opportunities for Home Ownership
    Homeownership may seem out of reach for many people, but those with disabilities or barriers face particular hurdles.  Reviewing past programs and current successes, join our panelists to discuss the challenges, opportunities and the key components of future planning that will help people with special needs achieve their dream, build wealth and enjoy the stability that comes with having a secure place to live.
    Moderator: Maria Maio-Messano, SHA Board of Trustees
    Krystal Odell, CEO, Pennreach
    Janel Winter, Director of Housing and Community Resources, NJ Dept. of Community Affairs
    Patricia Ramirez, Director Housing Choice Voucher Program, Jersey City Housing Authority
    Andrea Telez, Family Self Sufficiency Supervisor, Jersey City Housing Authority
  • NJ Foster Youth to Independence: Building Collaborations
    The work of the NJ Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) Project supports the federal government’s goal of preventing and ending homelessness for a vulnerable population of young adults under 25.  FYI puts youths first and provides safe and healthy homes through Housing Choice Vouchers, supportive services and the opportunity for independence. Attendees will hear from state, county, and public housing authority partners about their success in this cross-system collaborative effort in piloting the FYI initiative.
    Moderator: Luther Owens, Supervising Administrative Analyst, NJDCF Office of Housing
    Speakers: Stephanie Lupinacci, Program Lead, DCF Office of Housing
    Meghan Leigh, Senior Development Director, Covenant House New Jersey
    Jessica Torres, MPA, Program Analyst, Department of Citizen Services, Essex County, CoC
  • Healthy Aging in Supportive Housing Communities
    New Jersey has a growing aging population, including existing residents living in supportive housing units across the state. Over the last couple of years, CSH has partnered with many supportive housing and aging thought leaders in the state  on a Healthy Aging in Supportive Housing initiative. This workshop centers providers supporting services to people who are aging with intellectual developmental disabilities, severe mental illness, and a history of experiencing homelessness.  How should service and housing providers in New Jersey support existing residents who would like to age in place and may now have new health related needs? What are the existing services resources that we can tap into?  And what new, additional resources need to be brought to the table?
    Moderator:  Cassondra Warney, Senior Program Manager, CSH
    Speakers: Kathy White-Thomas, COO, VOA Delaware Valley
    Gerry Sanzari, Executive Director, North Bergen Housing Authority
    Rebecca Lorusso, Senior Director of Adults Service – Residential, ARC of Essex County
    Shamira Cruz, Tenant Services Coordinator, North Bergen Housing Authority
  • Passive House Design: Supportive Meets Sustainable
    Passive house design is a voluntary standard for energy efficiency, which reduces a building’s ecological footprint. With new incentives, now is the time to weigh the financial benefits and costs in implementing this new model.  Join this session for an introduction to Passive House qualities and untapped opportunities in New Jersey.  This workshop will share how it is working in other states and fits with the current efficiency qualities, along with those on the horizon. Attendees will learn about its many benefits including that buildings can maintain both neighborhood characteristics without compromising components of supportive housing.
    Moderator: Steve Schoch, Principal, Thriven Design
    Speakers: Steve Vlaovich, Associate Principal, Architecture, Aufgang
    Pamela DeLosSantos, Director of Technical Services, New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Authority (NJHMFA)
    Amber Delaney, Construction Supervisor, RPM Development

Session 2: 11:30 AM – 12:45PM

  • Serving Everyone Through a Culture of Gentleness
    The Eiros Group provides Support Brokerage services and has been utilizing the practice of a Culture of Gentleness and Gentle Teaching since its inception. The intention is to have the Culture, along with Person Centered Planning and Thinking, be the foundation that all the organization’s work was built on. One of the benefits of utilizing this philosophy is that Eiros experiences better workforce engagement and retention. A Culture of Gentleness permeates the organization and is used to meet the needs of all stakeholders. Support brokerage intentionally focused on connecting individuals to housing, community connections, job and volunteer opportunities, and other realms that fall outside of the traditional Support Coordination. In this presentation, Eiros shares the basic principles of a Culture of Gentleness, its  journey toward embedding that culture, and how Eiros has embedded the philosophy into its fledgling organization.
    Presenters: Kristen Mathews, Director of Support Brokerage, Eiros Group
    Sheldon Schwitek, Director of People and Culture, Eiros Group
  • Making Homes Accessible: Owner Occupied Rehabilitation
    New Jersey’s aging infrastructure limits the ability for people to find a home or stay in a home that adapts to their physical needs. Aging in place or continuing to live in the community becomes unachievable when financial constraints preclude accommodations.  Fortunately, Federal Home Loan Bank of NY has a funding program that can help. Come hear about the support for owner occupied rehabilitation and from two programs that have brought down repair costs to help hundreds of people create a home where they can thrive.
    Presenters: Jacob Day, Community Investment, Federal Home Loan Bank of NY
    Pilar Hogan Closkey, Executive Director, Saint Joseph’s Carpenter Society, Camden
    Kristine Novakowski, Executive Director, Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity
  • Behavioral Health Integration—Moving Care to home and Community-Based Settings (HCBS)
    Success begins with home! The New Jersey FamilyCare program is continuing its evolution towards providing more behavioral health services in home and community-based settings (HCBS) rather than institutional settings. The Murphy Administration recently garnered federal approval (1115 innovation waiver) to integrate outpatient behavioral health services with the physical health portions of FamilyCare.  The new waiver program is building on the success of the Managed Long-Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) program. Join us to hear from experts and stakeholders about the benefits of clinically integrated care in promoting services available in the community. Attendees will learn about opportunities for stakeholder engagement to help craft the implementation of this innovative program.
    Moderator: Patrick Gillespie, RVP State Affairs, Amerigroup, NJ
    Ann Basil, LCSW, Behavioral Health Director, Amerigroup, NJ
    Ann Kohler, Former Medicaid Director for NJ and NY, former head of National Association of State Medicaid Programs, Healthcare Consultant
  • Supportive / Affordable Housing & Municipal Partnerships: Models for Success
    The Affordable Housing Alliance and Millstone Township have a long twenty-year partnership and continue in “breaking ground” and creating unique new homes for a variety of populations with special needs. This pipeline continues and today includes affordable housing in various sizes of buildings for individuals and families who are homeless or formerly homeless, have physical and mental disabilities and/or are low and moderate income seniors (with a set-aside for a special needs population.) Come learn about the transformative power of how nonprofits and municipalities can work together to create supportive and affordable housing. Stakeholders, service providers, and funding mechanisms used to bring the projects to fruition will join the discussion.
    Moderator:  Chris Pugliese, Director of Housing Development, Affordable Housing Alliance
    Presenters: Kevin Abernethy, Township Administrator, Millstone
    M. McKinley Mertz, Principal Planner, Heyer, Gruel & Associates

Session 3: 2:45 PM – 4:00 PM

  • The CRA: Funding the Housing Development Needs of Our Local Communities
    The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) encourages banks and savings associations to help meet the credit needs of all segments of their communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods and individuals. To that end, CRA officers advance engagement with community-based partners to understand the needs of their local communities and further shared goals. Come hear from CRA officers representing banks doing business in our state about the funding opportunities available to the supportive housing industry and their priorities around community investment. This workshop will discuss how to engage and build relationships with banks and further affirm how your organization’s mission aligns with community development priorities.
    Speakers: Ken Bland, Director, Community Engagement, Nonprofit Finance Fund
    Alle Ries, Vice President and New Jersey CRA Officer, Community Reinvestment Group, M&T Bank
    Jerry Flach, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and CRA Regional Officer, Valley National Bank 
  • Community Design: Local Changes that Support Independence
    Supportive housing creates a home environment where people thrive by improving access that facilitates residents’ independence. Shouldn’t our external built environment do the same? This panel will explore how municipal policies and projects can bolster the supportive housing community through inclusive local transportation improvements, expanded housing options, and better access to necessities such as healthcare, groceries, and recreation.
    Moderator: Christina Kata, New Jersey Policy Associate, RPA
    Speakers:  Corey Hannigan, Active Transportation Program Manager, Tri-State Transportation Campaign
    Michael De Blasio, Chief Real Estate Officer of NJ Community Development Corporation
    Kenneth Morris, Jr., MHA, MA, Vice President, External Affairs, St. Joseph’s Health
    Marina Rubina, Architect
  • Strategies for Overcoming Tenancy Challenges in Supportive Housing
    Supportive housing serves tenants who have barriers and disabilities that can lead to behaviors that are difficult and impact tenancy. They may be aggressive, abuse substances, or have other behaviors which cause them challenges in abiding by the terms of their leases. Property managers encounter problems with rent payment, property destruction and tenants who have challenges with the upkeep of their apartment or the general property.  Supportive service providers can experience challenges advocating for those they serve while maintaining relationships with their landlord and property management partners.  Join this session to learn about best practices around how to decrease the incidence of issues and support a “healthy tension” between property managers and service providers.
    Moderator:  Brian McShane, Associate Director PA/NJ, CSH Metro Team, CSH
    Speakers: John Lambert, MA, Director of Housing, Pathways to Housing PA
    Wakida Williams, Assistant Clinical Director, Pathways to Housing PA
  • Health Begins with Housing
    The recent CMS renewal of the 1115 Waiver significantly recognizes the critical relationship between health outcomes and housing. NJ Medicaid is deep into the planning that will not only deliver services to help people secure safe and stable housing but also fill a funding gap in the development of “Healthy Homes.” Come hear the latest from the Medicaid housing team and the dynamic partnership with NJ Department of Community Affairs that is pushing the boundaries of healthcare innovation in NJ and across the nation.
    Presenters: Jonathan Tew, Regulatory Officer, New Jersey Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services
    Janel Winter, Director of Housing and Community Resources, NJ Dept. of Community Affairs

Keep checking this page for workshop updates.