Page Reviewed / Updated – Nov. 28, 2023

Program Description

New Jersey’s Congregate Housing Services Program (CHSP) is a series of residences located throughout the state in which low level care and supportive services are provided. Through this program, the state helps frail, elderly and / or disabled individuals to continue living with relative independence and avoid, or at least delay, placement in a nursing home. While not identical, the Congregate Housing Services Program can be thought of as similar to assisted living, but funded, in part, by the state.

There are currently locations in 21 different counties throughout New Jersey. New Jersey residents are free to seek admission to a community in any county regardless of their current county of residence. This includes residents of counties in which there are no congregate housing locations.

1. Atlantic
2. Bergen
3. Burlington
4. Camden
5. Cape May
6. Cumberland
7. Essex
8. Gloucester
9. Hudson
10. Hunterdon
11. Mercer
12. Middlesex
13. Monmouth
14. Morris
15. Ocean
16. Passaic
17. Salem
18. Somerset
19. Sussex
20. Union
21. Warren

Funding for NJ CHSP comes, in part, from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the state of New Jersey and from the residents themselves.

Eligibility Guidelines

General Requirements

Candidates must be at least 62 years of age or, if younger, they must be disabled as designated by Social Security.

Candidates must be legal residents of the state of New Jersey. CHSP residences are not available in every county, but there is no requirement that one must apply to a residence in their own county. Therefore, persons residing in counties without congregate homes are still eligible for this program.

Functional Ability
Candidates are considered “frail” or unable to live on their own without some level of assistance. A typical resident may require assistance with several activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming, and mobility. However, their needs cannot be so severe that it would be less costly to care for them in a nursing home. Nor, would an individual with a progressive condition such as Alzheimer’s be a good candidate for CHSP.

Financial Requirements

Strictly speaking, persons at any financial level are eligible. However, room, board, and assistance fees are based on a sliding scale of one’s income. Those at the lower end of the economic spectrum receive the greatest amount of financial assistance, while those with means are expected to cover the full cost.

Final eligibility is determined at the residence level by facility administrators.

Benefits and Services

Depending on the residence, program participants have access to a variety of support services including:

  • Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (personal care assistance)
  • Home Health Aid
  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Shopping Assistance
  • Changing of Linens
  • Preparation of Meals 
  • Group Meals – a minimum of one / day

Typically, an independent assessment committee performs an evaluation and recommends a service package to the housing management.

The cost of living and receiving assistance under CHSP varies based on the resident’s income and the number of services one is receiving. One’s “disposable income” is calculated and one is expected to pay their cost-share from that income. In general, participants pay approximately 10% – 20% of the cost, though some may pay up to 100%. For those who cannot cover the cost of the program, subsidies may be provided by the state. However, one can assume any out-of-pocket costs are significantly less than the market rate for assisted living in NJ

Eldercare Financial Assistance Locator

  • Discover all of your options
  • Search over 400 Programs

How to Apply / Learn More

To learn more about the New Jersey Congregate Housing Services Program, contact the New Jersey Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services.

To locate residences within a specific county, contact your local Area Agency on Aging.