The affordable housing shortage profoundly affects more than 40% of the callers to our 2-1-1 helpline. They don’t earn enough despite working – many more than one job – to afford to live here. Rents and other costs are so high that one unexpected car repair bill, or one unexpected medical bill (most have no health insurance), and the rent check is delayed. Financial crisis follows, so increasing the supply of homes people can afford makes sense as a crisis prevention strategy.

home owners fairThat’s why Bergen County’s United Way is building affordable housing (though we prefer to call it Housing Works) hand in glove with municipal governments and with the support of communities. Our housing looks great, is well built, and is remarkably affordable.

We’ve formed the BCUW/Madeline Partnership to handle all aspects of development. The Madeline Corporation, led by second-generation housing developer, Shari DePalma, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing affordable housing for seniors, families and individuals with special needs.

To date, BCUW/Madeline has developed 228 units of affordable housing in 20 separate projects located throughout northern New Jersey. Twenty-seven more are in the pipeline. View our Project Tracker.

The impact of our housing is far reaching – the children succeeding in school without disruption, the seniors and disabled who are now living independently and, for low-income working families able to purchase an affordable unit, the creation of new taxpayers and homeowners with pride and an equity stake in the community. We help families achieve the stability that comes with having a place to call home.

Some Very Special Homes for Very Special People

“Our son has lived in the Crescent Commons community in Allendale for nearly two years and they have been the most independent two years of his life thus far.” – Liz Mulholland, mother of JJ

In 2010 we built an award winning project in Allendale – Orchard Commons, recipient of the Governor’s Excellence in Housing Award – for individuals with developmental disabilities ranging from Down syndrome to autism. In January 2012, a second project, Crescent Commons, was opened in Allendale. Airmount Woods in Ramsey earned the Innovation in Supportive Housing award from SHA in 2013.

To receive information about available housing opportunities contact Gina Plotino, VP of Programs and Operations, at 201.291.4054 or at