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New Jersey Future Statement on S1

June 10, 2010

Senator Ray Lesniak. Source: Press of Atlantic City

The following statement was issued by Peter Kasabach, Executive Director of New Jersey Future, on June 10, 2010, following the passage of S-1 in the New Jersey Senate:

“We have little doubt that the good folks looking to re-shape the state’s affordable-housing policy are doing so with their own reasonable intentions.  Unfortunately, the product of these intentions, embodied in the just-passed S-1 legislation, creates an affordable-housing system that can only be described as a non-affordable housing system.  The current proposal will:  1) produce fewer opportunities for low- and moderate-income households, and has the strong possibility of creating absolutely no opportunities at all; 2) generate less funding to subsidize housing; and 3) remove any accountability from the state or towns to even attempt to create affordable housing, let alone actually produce any.

In an effort to “blow up” the Council on Affordable Housing and create a system that relies on local good will to generate housing that isn’t being produced by the market, the Senate has thrown out the baby, the bathwater and the tub.  This may be viewed by some people as a necessary and radical re-thinking of affordable housing, but that would be the case only if the new system had some chance of producing affordable housing, especially near jobs and transportation choices.  We have repeatedly asked those involved to explain how the new system will result in more affordable-housing opportunities (or any opportunities, for that matter), and we have yet to receive a cogent answer.

We and others have provided reasonable alternatives to the current bill, but in the haste to advance S-1, these alternatives have been dismissed.  We hope the Assembly will take time to analyze the current bill and will make amendments or extend the discussion period to incorporate better ideas that will result in a functional affordable-housing system.   Affordable housing is a critical component of our economic and social prosperity; it is too important to the health of our state to allow it to be so impetuously eliminated.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Gene Santucci permalink
    September 28, 2010 6:14 pm

    Do you have any alternative policy proposals for housing in NJ? How can rural towns provide housing near jobs and transportation choices? The current economic crunch has hit many of my neighbors and it would be great if NJ could guarantee that they could stay in their homes, provide mortgage assistance, reduce their property taxes, provide inexpensive transportation and actually help them get jobs (Perhaps with retraining). There are small homes in my area that are built on formerly vacant lots, but by mixing them in with the larger homes, the price they demand remains out of reach for the very poor. If you zone an area for only small homes, you run the risk of creating a blighted area. I would welcome any suggestions you may have. Thank you.

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