The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the North Bergen Housing Authority $255,750 through their Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency Program (ROSS) program this week.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The funding will be used to maintain service coordinators, who assess the needs of residents, officials said this morning.
“This is a tremendous achievement and will greatly benefit North Bergen residents,” NBHA Executive Director Gerald Sanzari said in a statement.
“We are the only housing authority in all of New Jersey that was chosen for this funding award and this is due to our outstanding tenant services division led by ROSS Coordinator Shamira Cruz and Tenant Services Assistant Jacqui Farley. Thank you to the Department of Housing and Urban Development for providing us with the resources we need to continue delivering the best possible services to our residents.”
Both Cruz and Farley have received accolades for their work during their tenure at NBHA.
Cruz was recently named the Resident Service Coordinator of the Month by the New England Resident Service Coordinators, while Farley was recently awarded the first ever Hero Leadership Award by the Supportive Housing Association of New Jersey for her efforts to keep residents safe and informed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ROSS awards go to 111 Public Housing Agencies (PHAs), Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHEs), Resident Associations, and Nonprofit organizations supported by residents, PHAs, and/or tribes/TDHEs across the country to fund 135 Service Coordinator positions.
The ROSS program endeavors to ensure progress along a continuum through training and the use of supportive services.
For elderly or disabled public housing residents, this can also include the ability to age in place or remain living independently for as long as possible.
The Township of North Bergen Housing Authority (NBHA) serves a largely Latino/minority community. Of the 986 public housing units, they reserve 811 units for elderly and/or disabled persons.
During the pandemic, the transportation services that many tenants rely on were suspended during periods of quarantine.
The NBHA staff recognized a need to get vital household necessities and fresh food products to the elderly, handicapped, and less mobile tenants, so they established partnerships with local warehouse distributors who periodically donate large quantities of sundry and household items for needy persons.