Addresses Network’s Conference in Trenton
Yesterday, June 13, 2012, Federal Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan brought an encouraging keynote message to a crowded audience in Trenton. Over 200 elected officials, members, and supporters of the Housing & Community Development Network of NJ were gathered for the group’s semi-annual meeting. U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) also addressed the group, via video message, about the housing issues being discussed in the Congress.
Donovan specifically referenced that the $75 million in direct aid New Jersey is receiving from a federal foreclosure settlement should be used for activities such as housing counseling and legal services for homeowners experiencing a mortgage crisis.
The HUD Secretary encouraged the state’s dedicated housing advocates to “continue making your voices heard” by urging lawmakers to spend the money intended for housing program for that purpose. “Ultimately it’s a state decision on how these funds are used,” Donovan said.
Donovan said that a reduction in any of these funds puts more homeowners at risk.
“Fewer folks that are helped, fewer communities are helped, and more pain for New Jersey and its housing market and economy.”
Housing officials have criticized the $75 million in direct aid that they said the Christie Administration is diverting to the General Fund. The administration disagrees with that claim.
Donovan also called for support of the $15 billion Project Rebuild neighborhood stabilization program, which helps prevent homes from being foreclosed and surrounding homes from seeing property values drop.
To view photos from the meeting click here.
This is the video message from Sen. Menendez.