Hansen Addresses Sober Living Home Challenges in Ventnor.

Jennifer Hansen discussed her sober living homes and answered questions during the recent Ventnor Commissioner meeting of Sept 24. WATCH VIDEO.

Close to 90 participated online, with another group sitting inside Ventnor City Hall chambers.

Hansen runs 5 sober homes in Ventnor. At least 20 others are owned by other Ventnor owners. Some suggest there are many more of these type of facilities. See: Conflicting home counts.

Sober-Living homes by Hansen Foundation in Ventnor.

Former addicts are disabled people protected under the Federal Fair Housing Act. Laws protect them against discrimination. Currently, we have conflicting state & local laws as it pertains to land use & zoning of these sober-living facilities.

Hansen says she wants to own, rather than rent these homes.

Do these Ventnor sober-living homes pay taxes? Jennifer Hansen says: If it’s owned by a non-profit….they shouldn’t. Some of them, we do. If they are rented, yes they do  .

Hansen agrees about the cluster & density issues. She wants to move to other locations, but it takes time. For example, her Newark Ave property took 9 months to acquire.

Geoff Gordon: Would Ms. Hanson seek 501C3 tax-exempt status? If so, Ventnor taxpayers would have to cover that tax shortfall?

Jon Hampton: Between Weymouth and Austin Ave, there appears to be 8+ of these facilities. This is super-saturation.

Landgraf says there are approx 25 sober living homes in Ventnor. Hansen says she counts only half that number.

Houses are placed near business, so residents can easily get to work.

From the live chat:

Gregory Allen: Rented houses are not subject to the Fair Housing Act. Is this the reason you’re trying to get out of using rentals?

Four sober living homes on one block. Three are right next to each other. Austin Ave.?

Hansen: I’m trying to spread them out. Doing best I can. Hansen willing to sit down with neighbors. Maybe even host a townhall.

Spiro Sallata: Seems to be a thriving business, at the expense of residents.

Joy Kurtz: Will our taxes be affected if there are so many homes bought as 501c3?

Jennifer Hansen:  We own 2 houses on Austin, those will stay level 3 (24/7 supervision houses with no cars). The other 2 houses are moving.

Afraid to walk on Austin Ave. after dark.

From smontano: They curse and scream at each other when houses are clustered. What we witness on the porches of Austin Ave. Video cameras show the actual happenings. 

Spiro Sallata: It’s not about labeling those in recovery, it’s about protecting the rights and investments of others

Lisa: When we purchased our homes, we chose the area we wanted to live in.  I feel like the sober living home took over my neighborhood and I have now joined their community. The North Beach Community needs to meet and discuss further actions after this meeting.

Jennifer Hansen: None of these houses make any money, they’re non-profit. We have a lot of expenses, house maintenance, staff, insurance, etc. We raise money to cover shortfall through fundraising. Residents pay $180 per week.

Emily Shore: Ventnor has taken away so many parking spaces that it’s difficult to find street parking near 5000 Boardwalk. Three sober houses on Austin can conceivably have 15 cars.

Linda Magarick: You certainly don’t need a BEACH BLOCK home for sober living.

STACY from Northbeach Assn supports the mission of sober living homes in Ventnor. 12 yrs of working to change NOBE into premium neighborhood. That progress is at risk of being erased. Changes the very nature of our neighborhood. Perception becomes reality. Does NOBE want to be known as the center of social services?

Many more sober homes in Ventnor? More than 25. Rogue sober homes? Well run homes are sullied by poorly run ones.

Ventnor City can’t issue CO’s. That problematic rule started a few years ago.

Rooming homes are not permitted in Ventnor.

Sober Living Home Capital of the East Coast.

Landgraf not giving up. Weed out bad apples. By law, we can’t limit the number of homes, or affect the radius (buffer) between each home.

Will Assemblyman Mazzeo help?

Edwina Hansen spoke during public comment.

NJ not in compliance with federal law? Homes like these should be properly credentialed.

From smontano:  As General Manager of 5000 Boardwalk, I would like to explain concerns of 5000 Boardwalk. I was a board member for 4 years of Cape Assist, the Coalition Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse located in Cape May County. I engaged in providing alcohol and drug counseling on a volunteer basis.  I understand the need for these houses and support them. Our concern is the behavior of residents. 

The Austin Ave houses, because they’re clustered, are not exhibiting proper behavior and character.

Perhaps we should call Jennifer every time there are behavioral and noise issues. That is not out of meanness, but out of response to her statement that she gets very few calls concerning issues at the houses. Perhaps that would help her understand and control the houses better.

7 thoughts on “Hansen Addresses Sober Living Home Challenges in Ventnor.”

  1. Ventnor has had enough of Jennifer Hansen. Even people in Margate are whispering about her and what she is doing to ruin Ventnor. But she doesn’t seem to care. Her goal seems to be to use sober living homes as a way to amass a big real estate portfolio – regardless how it effects others.

    Ventnor city officials suggest contacting our state representatives and expressing your concerns:

    Senator Chris Brown
    SenChrisABrown@njleg.org

    Assemblyman Mazzeo
    asmmazzeo@njleg.org

    Assemblyman Armato
    asmarmato@njleg.org

  2. Lets start GoFundMe and buy Hansen’s neighbor’s houses, and convert to sober living homes. Her house is really nice. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind and the property value wouldn’t be impacted at all.

    1. People buy where it’s cheaper. If you don’t like it, you should work harder and move to Margate where she lives. If I was running sober livings, I’d buy where it’s cheap.

      Let’s all be honest. Ventnor is right next to AC and becoming more of a city. It’s not Margate and there’s always been that urban vibe. Also, more drugs 100% happen on Bayshore and in longport where the money is. I guess they’re a “ different type of drug addict” because they have money?

      Your argument is sounding extremely discriminatory. Wake up. It’s everywhere. I’m a local, this sounds like you are hating the fact they have money and just make right investment decisions. Sorry you weren’t that smart and can only afford to live in Ventnor. 🤙

  3. I believe most individuals in recovery do not want to be labeled as an individual with a disability, nor would I, as a family member with an individual in recovery, would not want refer to them as “disabled”.

    Labeling those in recovery, as one with a disability, seems counter productive to the process, which is, a continuous journey of recovery.

    I find it questionable why homes are bought close to one another. And since they are non profit, they pay no taxes -yet those who live there pay $180.00 per week, and $720.00 per month.

    Another point of question, is if one is not working ,or rather looking for a job,etc.and they reside,in a Hansen House,Sober house, does the state pay that money, since they are then” unemployed & disabled”? And where do the individual work. I met one resident who informed me she worked at Hansens Farm. It all seems cloudy & not totally transparent.

    Does each house have a paid 24-7 house supervisor? I was informed by a prior resident that this is not the case, and that there’s is often self governing. If each house had a house supervisor of whose job was to reside there 24-7, then they would be responsible for complaints of issues.

    It appears from my prior experience that each house does not have such a paid person or a person who resides there 24-7 and is in charge.

    The Hansen House model is not an Oxford house model. Ms.Hansen said on the video that smoking is not permitted inside, yet I live near a Hansen House and most of the residents smoke daily, outside and in the area and the cigarettes are discarded everywhere.

    Who addressed such inconsiderate behavior and why can their not be stiff house rules? As in respect for your neighbors.

    Neighbors will not be welcoming if behaviors are not respectful of them and their properties. I am also unsure why houses Hansen owns need to be clustered together, what is the purpose for this.

    I have also lived in the past near Oxford Houses, and heard not a peep, and when one resident relapsed on one occasion, he was gone the next day.

    Finally why did Ms.Hansen not appear in person at the Ventnor meeting ,but yet her mother did? Most would of preferred, I assume to see Ms.Hansen speak in person and her mother via Zoom. Since the meeting was open to some speakers it would of been powerful and productive if Ms.Hansen appeared in person, it would of reflected transparency and commitment to appear, and not hide behind zoom.

    In closing I think continuing to use the word “disabled” for those in recovery is disingenuous. Does Ms.Hansen consider herself a disabled individual? or an individual with a disability?

    The word, individual in recovery is preferred as is also paying real estate taxes. I think using the laws on disability, seem an issue and verbage that is used in a way that skirts around the many issues raised at the meeting.

    I support individuals in recovery as well as those who struggle and do not consider them disabled or with a disability. Mental Health challenges are also a disability, yet not all individuals would describe themselves with a diagnosis or not as a disabled person.

    I hope Ms. Hansen may answer the questions posed above for more transparency. The State of NJ issue with Hansen House is still ongoing and has not been resolved.

    Hansen House will have to abide by the rooming house laws of Atlantic City, as they dishonored them and were in violation.

    Thank you, Carol P.

    1. Have residents of Hansens Houses all gone thru treatment at her facility? Or where were they prior? Can anyone in recovery apply to live in a sober living facility?

      Hansen House rehab is covered by Medicaid, one of the few in the state. Hansen House inpatient rehab also accepts those with several diagnoses other than substance abuse. (please study what areas they cover on their website)

      Are those with a co-morbid diagnosis also permitted to live in a sober living home?

      If 8 individuals are living in a Hansen Sober House at $180 per week ($720.per month) x 8, equals $5,760 per month which is an excellent return on a property you own and for which no real estate taxes are paid.

      Is the lack of real estate taxes per property, especially in the beach block or elsewhere, absorbed by other resident taxpayers? I look forward to further discussion on these points.

  4. Sober living home owners make a lot of money and do not pay taxes! They are also rarely regulated and inspected

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